Record crowd at­tends star cer­e­mony for Latin icon Se­lena

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LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) — Some 4,500 fans gath ered on Vine Street in Hol­ly­wood on Fri­day to pay trib­ute to the late Te­jano mu­sic queen Se­lena Quin­tanilla, who was hon­ored with the 2,622nd star on the Hol­ly­wood Walk of Fame.

Known sim­ply as Se­lena, the singer-song­writer broke bar­ri­ers for women in Latin mu­sic. She opened the flood­gates for a new gen­er­a­tion of con­tem­po­rary artists of Latin de­scent who would go on to en­joy huge pop­u­lar­ity with main­stream Amer­i­can au­di­ences.

Se­lena was born in Texas in 1971. She died in 1995 at 23 af­ter be­ing shot by a busi­ness col­league.

Her mu­sic still res­onates. As of 2015, Se­lena had sold more than 65 mil­lion units world­wide, mak­ing her the best-sell­ing fe­male artist in Latin mu­sic his­tory.

Ac­cord­ing to a Hol­ly­wood Cham­ber of Com­merce spokes­woman, Se­lena’s crowd was the largest-ever for a Walk of Fame cer­e­mony, break­ing a 1998 record set held by on­look­ers at the un­veil­ing of the star for Mex­i­can singer Vi­cente Fer­nan­dez.

“This is his­tory in the mak­ing,” said Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti at the podium, re­peat­ing him­self in Span­ish.

“Se­lena was an an­gel,” he con­tin­ued, which gen­er­ated cheers. “And we thank the fam­ily for all they gave and have given this coun­try, and it’s a mes­sage we need now more than ever. Be­cause we aren’t strangers to this land, this is our home.”

Nu­mer­ous celebrity guests at the cer­e­mony in­cluded ac­tor Ed­ward James Ol­mos, who ap­peared in 1997 biopic “Se­lena,” star­ring Jen­nifer Lopez. “Des­per­ate Housewives” ac­tress Eva Lon­go­ria was the only one to go up to the dais.

“Se­lena’s voice was a key that un­locked the hearts and minds of mil­lions,” Lon­go­ria said. “She was a small town girl with a big heart and a smile that ra­di­ated and cap­ti­vated peo­ple ev­ery­where. That small town was my home­town of Cor­pus Christi, Texas. And she was the face I fi­nally saw that looked like mine.”

Se­lena was the youngest child of a mother of Chero­kee ances­try and a fa­ther who is Mex­i­canAmer­i­can.

Se­lena’s sis­ter Suzette was the last to speak, wrap­ping with Se­lena’s own words:

“‘The goal isn’t to live for­ever, but to cre­ate some­thing that will.’”

At the cer­e­mony’s end, the fam­ily stood to­gether, pos­ing for pho­tog­ra­phers. Mu­si­cian Chris Perez, who was mar­ried to Se­lena, bent down to lay a small bou­quet of white roses on his late wife’s Walk of Fame star.

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