If you’ve searched for anything on Google this morning, you’ve probably noticed an illustration of Tejano music icon Selena Quintanilla.
And if you’ve clicked on the fanciful illustration of Selena, you’ve seen the roughly minute-and-a-half video that follows, created to celebrate the release of her debut eponymous album Selena, which came out Oct. 17, 1989, according to Forbes.
For many, Selana is a relatively unknown figure, her promising young career cut short at the age of 23 when she was tragically shot and killed in March 1995.
But for Perla Campos, the Global Marketing Lead for Google Doodles, Selena was more than just a source of good music — she was a reminder to be proud of your heritage.
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“Aside from incredible dance moves and how to belt some serious notes, watching Selena taught me that being Latina was a powerful thing,” Campos wrote in a blog post for Google, “and that with hard work and focus I could do whatever I set my mind to.
“Watching her showed me that this hybrid cultural identity of mine was a valuable gift I should embrace. Watching her made me proud of being Mexicana.”
So that’s why Campos wanted to honor Selena with a Google Doodle video, which is set to the tune of her hit “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.” It’s a song that Campos herself has fond memories of, as she won a trophy at a talent show when she was eight for dancing to the song.
Selena released five Tejano albums throughout her brief career, with her final album Dreaming of You being the first to reach the top of the Billboard 200 in July 1995, a few months after Yolanda Saldivar, the former head of her fan club, cut her life short, according to Newsweek.
Saldivar had been fired for allegedly stealing money from Selena’s business interests, according to Newsweek.
Selena was always making music, even before anyone knew her signature name. She got her start as an artist by performing at her father’s Texas restaurant, singing for her family’s band, Los Dinos, according to ABC6.
Then, at just 15, Selena began to receive more critical attention, winning Female Entertainer of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards, according to ABC6.
Selena was known for “breaking barriers,” wrote The Washington Post, and eventually made her name known in the Tejano music scene and beyond with her English hit “Dreaming of You.” She would win the Grammy for Best Mexican/American Album in 1994, the first time a female had achieved the award for Tejano music.
Her influence lives on — in 2016, she received a wax figure makeover at Madame Tussaud’s and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year, according to Vanity Fair.
Selena’s combination of fame and unwavering pride in being Latina resonated with a young Campos, who needed a role model that looked like her.
“I grew up knowing from a very early age that I was different from the people around me,” she told The Post. “But I distinctly remember watching her on TV. It was somebody who looked like me. It was somebody who I could relate to.
“And I saw [her] achieving goals and doing amazing things and being powerful and embracing the Latina in [herself].”
Campos joined the Google Doodle team full-time two years ago, and soon began working on an illustration that did Selena justice.
She told Billboard: "I took my new team lead aside and said, 'Look, I'm really passionate about this and know we could make something really amazing. Can we delay and can you give me some time to make this great?'"
Campos and the Google Doodle team have been working on the video ever since, making sure to check with Selena’s family to ensure accuracy.
Now, with the final product released, Campos hopes to inspire millions around the world with the music and story of Selena — and thank the Tejano music trailblazer for all she’s done.
“So the best thing I can say is thank you, Selena,” she wrote for Google. “Thank you for being a role model and a hero to a little Latina girl in Granbury, Texas. Thank you for teaching her that she could dream big and make it.
“And thank you for all the inspiration and joy your music and legacy continues to bring to the world.”