NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has acquired 18 images of the iconic Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla to add to its collection of photographs taken by Texas photographer Al Rendon.

And on today, what would have been the singer’s 50th birthday, the museum will also release an educational video highlighting objects about, and images of, Selena in the Smithsonian’s collections to share her story. One of Selena’s performance costumes was gifted to the museum by her family in 1998.

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These recently collected photographs depict Selena in concert, interacting with fans and professional headshots. The images are part of the museum’s Photographic History Collection and join images of Selena taken by Rendon and donated in 2015 as part of the museum’s collecting initiative around Hispanic advertising history.

Singer Selena (Quintanilla) receives Grammy Award at The 36th Annual Grammy Awards on March 1, 1994 in New York. (credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

In addition, the museum is publishing several digital resources to help audiences learn about Selena’s legacy, including the final installment in the Smithsonian’s “Latinas Talk Latinas” video series, produced in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center. The video was filmed in spring 2021 in her home state of Texas and in Washington, D.C.

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Selena was an American singer-songwriter who became known as the “Queen of Tejano Music,” a popular form of music originating in Texas that takes influences from polka, rock, conjunto and mariachi. She rose to fame in the late 1980s among Mexican Americans and Mexicans, and her popularity quickly grew across U.S. and international Latino markets. She went on to sign with a major record label.

Selena played for crowds of 80,000 and won a Grammy for the best Mexican American album in 1994. At the time of her death, Selena was recording her first album in English, her native language, and had opened several fashion boutiques. She was killed March 31, 1995, by the president of her fan club, who also managed her clothing stores.

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CBSDFW.com Staff