October 28, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

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.

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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.

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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.

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Taqueria Chapala, 2101 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas  

Memorial/ Sacred Symbols