Legendary Mexican-American Tejano star Selena Quintanilla died tragically at only 23 when she was shot by her fan club president Yolanda Saldívar during an argument.
On Thursday, during the Billboard Latin Music Awards, 20 years after the influential star’s untimely death, Jennifer Lopez honored her with a touching seven-minute tribute.
The 45-year-old singer – who also portrayed the late singer in the 1997 biopic – flawlessly changed costumes three times onstage as she performed five of Selena’s biggest hits.
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Jennifer channeled the late songstress as she took the stage in a shimmery, sequined bra top and coordinating high-waisted pants, while photos of the singer flashed on a large screen behind her.
She began the heart-felt performance with Como La Flor, following it up with Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, Amor Prohibido, I Could Fall In Love, and ending with No Me Queda Mas.
She performed along with Los Dinos, the family band that originally backed up the Mexican-American Tejano star.
Heart-felt tribute: Jennifer honored the late Selena Quintanilla with a touching seven-minute tribute, 20 years after the singer’s tragic death
In the audience – which was seen giving Jennifer a standing ovation – was Gregory Nava, the writer and director of the 1997 movie.
‘We love you, Selena,’ Jennifer said, as she looked emotional while sharing a hug with the late star’s brother and sister, who had joined her onstage following the performance.
Selena passed before finishing her crossover album – Dreaming of You – but it was later released posthumously in July of 1995, ultimately becoming her first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart.
Showing off her moves: The Feel the Light singer put on an incredibly active performance, particularly during Selena’s Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
Seven of the star’s albums peaked at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart, and her crossover album stayed there for 44 consecutive weeks.
And she has continued to gain fans decades after her death, with six posthumous releases hitting No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart.
Pedro Fernandez, who co-hosted the awards show – broadcast on Telemundo – said: ‘Selena was a unique, extraordinary and irreplaceable star, and while she is no longer with us, today her spirit, her grace and her voice are here.’
Praising her work: The award show’s co-host Pedro Fernandez called Jennifer’s portrayal of Selena in the 1997 biopic a ‘magical interpretation’ and said it ‘has made a definite mark on her artistic life’
He added, of Jennifer: ‘She has had many more triumphs in her life, but her magical interpretation of Selena on the big screen has made definite mark on her artistic life.’
The Feel the Light singer also shared her thoughts on her unforgettable onscreen portrayal of Selena in an interview with Billboard in March.
She spoke of the importance of the late songstress to her, saying: ‘People like that don’t come along every day,’ she said. ‘There is never going to be another Selena.’
She continued: ‘The fact that she was so young and doing all of these things that people go through that maybe she wasn’t ready for.’
‘The clothing line she was starting, getting married so young, things like that. I felt she had a sense to live in the moment, that you’re not promised tomorrow.’
‘For me that was the biggest lesson,’ Jennifer added. ‘That affected me in my life far more profoundly than the movie did in career terms.’