Twenty-one years after her death, the singer Salena lives on in Mexican-American culture. Christened the Queen of Tex-Mex, the artist was well into a skyrocketing career when a deranged former employee gunned her down in a hotel in Corpus Christi. Her death at the young age of 24, cut short an amazingly influential career, bridging musical genera and in the process gathering a loyal and devoted following. Her fan base continues, with a website promoting her songs, her clothing designs, and even a continuously broadcast of Salena Radio.
A popular East Austin eatery, Taqueria Chapala, has recently added a distinctive mural on its wall facing busy Cesar Chavez Street. Painted by local artist Federico Archuleta, the image is of the iconic singer, smiling and dazzling. The skillfully composition depicts a young woman confident and ready to embrace the future.
Though comparisons have been made to Marilyn Monroe, the popularity of Salena is motivated as much by the infectious music she left as it is a fascination with a personality who met an untimely end. The movie produced by her family, starring Jennifer Lopez, certainly helped to solidify her status as a timeless image of opportunity and confidence for many young people here and abroad.
Taqueria Chapala, 2101 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas