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Houston Hosts Selena Tribute

Selena Vive! performers play before 55,000

April 14, 2005

By COCO SALAZAR


As top artists took center stage to sing tribute to late Tejano queen Selena, Houston's Reliant Stadium glowed with thousands of lighted white flowers fans held in the air.

More than 20 of the most popular artists in the Spanish-language music world participated in the April 7 "Selena Vive!" (Selena Lives!) concert, a tribute to the Tejano star a decade after her death on March 31, 1995. The three-hour concert was broadcast live in front of 55,000 fans, according to Unvision, in stadium located right next to the Astrodome, place of Selena's last concert.

After the celebrities paraded down the red carpet wearing the latest fashions, pop diva Thalia opened the event with her own version of Amor Prohibido (Forbidden Love), one of the songs in the last full-Spanish album Selena recorded. The performance was awaited by many of Thalia's fans, as she has not been seen on stage much since making her crossover with her self-titled album that she debuted with I Want You featuring Fat Joe.

The string of stars that came after Thalia, included her alleged rival Paulina Rubio, regional-Mexican genre performers such as Banda El Recodo, Alicia Villareal and Ana Barbara, rocker Alejandra Guzmán, the "woman of fire" known for Merengue beats Olga Tanon, and the group who could not be absent, the Kumbia Kings, the band formed and lead by Selena's brother AB Quintanilla of which the late star's widowed husband is also a part of.

One of the most tear-jerking moments of the night was when Pete Astudillo, a former band member of Selena and composer of some of her hits, sang Como Te Extrano (How I Miss You), the Tejano ballad he wrote shortly after Selena was shot to death.

Previous to his performance, the three giant screens located above and on each side of the stage showed interviews with some of Selena's band members sharing stories of how they became part of the family music group Abraham Quintanilla had started and how they rose to fame.

As Astudillo's sang the heart-wretching ballad, the cameras focused on Selena's mom, who sat in the center and front row of the enormous stadium next to her husband and daughter, and could not contain her tears as she sang along to the song.

Gloria Estefan followed shortly after with I Could Fall in Love, one of the last songs Selena recorded in the album she did not get to complete with which she intended to make her crossover.

The tribute concert ended with all the artists united on the stage and the fan-filled stadium singing along with Selena's voice to Como La Flor (Like the Flower).

One of the main subjects of the night was the alleged rivalry between Thalia and Paulina Rubio, who are very rarely seen attending and performing at the same events. While both were part of pop group Timbiriche in their childhood and teen years, now as grown ups, the Mexican divas individually compete to top music charts.

While Rubio commented the night was not about her or Thalia, but about Selena, when asked by press members about the supposed rivalry, and Thalia said she did not have any grudges against anyone in her heart, the rivalry was apparent when all the artists joined the stage. Before the show was back on the air, the two pop stars greeted and hugged their fellow artists, but during the few minutes they stood right next to each other in the center of the stage neither turned to greet each other.


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