The touching story of Marcella Samora, mother of Selena Quintanilla

Born 17 July 1944, Marcella Samora is the mother of Selena Quintanilla, the late international pop sensation who was better known as Selena. Marcella is of Mexican and Cherokee descent and was born to a Texan father and a Coloradan mother. She spent some part of her early life in Washington, where she met her husband, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., who was stationed there during his service in the US military.

They got married in June 1963 and moved to Texas after the birth of their first child, Abraham “A.B.” Quintanilla III. The couple later had two other children, Suzette and Selena. Being a singer-songwriter himself, Marcella’s husband gave all their children music training. Consisting of his children, he formed a music group called Selena y Los Dinos, and as it turned out, Selena was the breakout star from the trio.

Unfortunately, in 1995, Selena was murdered by a fan and employee, Yolanda Saldívar. Marcella fought alongside the other members of her family to get justice for her daughter. In the end, Yolanda was ultimately sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Life sometimes deals us brutal hands that change the course of our journey. Without a doubt, the most painful thing for a mother is to lose a child, let alone in a gruesome way, like Marcella lost Selena. Though they got justice, the pain remains forever. Keep reading to learn more about the life of 77-year-old Marcella Samora. Firstly, here are ten facts about her.

10 facts about Marcella Samora

  1. Marcella first met Abraham at Washington, and they started dating in 1961 before their marriage on 8 June 1963. Abraham was a military officer and also a member of the musical art centre, Los Dinos.
  2. She and her husband had three children; a son, A.B. Quintanilla, and two daughters, Suzette Quintanilla and Selena Quintanilla.
  3. Marcella Samora witnessed the tragic death of her youngest child, Selena, on 31 March 1995, about two weeks before her 24th birthday.
  4. In 1995, Texas governor George W Bush declared Selena’s birth date, 16 April, a remembrance day in Texas called National Selena Day.
  5. In honour of her late daughter, Netflix debuted a series titled “Selena: The Series” (2020), based on the tragic life of the American Mexican pop star, Selena Quintilla.
  6. Also, to keep her daughter’s legacy alive, Marcella Samora operates a non-profit company known as The Selena Foundation.
  7. Marcella was once misdiagnosed with a brain tumour before Selena’s birth. They decided to take a second opinion and were told by another doctor that she was pregnant with a child.
  8. “Selena ¡VIVE!” is a musical TV film tribute to late musician Selena. Marcella is featured in the film as herself speaking about the daughter, and it was released in April 2005, on the tenth anniversary of Selena’s death.
  9. Marcella has never been active on any social media platform, and she doesn’t own any account on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
  10. From her career as a social worker, she has earned an impressive fortune. As per several sources, Marcella Samora net worth is estimated to be around $550K.

Related article: What happened to Christmas Vacation actress, Nicolette Scorsese, and where is she now?

Early life and education

Marcella Ofelia Samora was born on 17 July 1944 in the United States. Her father was a Mexican-American from Amarillo, Texas, while her mother was from Colorado with Native-American Cherokee ancestry. She spent most of her early life in Washington, where she got basic education. There is, however, no further information about her childhood and education.

Marcella Samora family

Marcella started a family at a very early age. She started dating Abraham Quintanilla in 1961 at the age of 17, and two years later, they were married. Marcella welcomed her first child with her husband the same year they got married, and the other two kids came in 1967 and 1971, respectively. Keep reading to learn more about the Quintanilla family.

Abraham Quintanilla Jr. – husband

Born 20 February 1939, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. He is the husband of Marcella and father of singer Selena and record producer Abraham Quintanilla III. He was an executive producer of a biographical film about her life in 1997, in which actor Edward James Olmos portrayed him.

Marcella Samora and Abraham Quintanilla
Marcella Samora and Abraham Quintanilla

Prior to serving in the military, Samora’s husband already showed a talent for singing and music. He joined the singing group called Los Dinos, and they performed in several venues, performing a mix of original songs as well as covers from popular bands, plus recording a single. Things weren’t so easy for them as they experienced discrimination because of their Mexican descent and were turned down in areas with predominantly white neighbourhoods.

After being discharged from duty and starting a family, he re-joined Los Dinos and began singing rock and roll music. They later changed their musical genre to Chicano rock to allow them to play English and Spanish songs. Los Dinos started recording singles once more, but by the late-1960s, their popularity faded, and sales were on the decline.

Abraham moved away with his family and started working for Dow Chemical. He discovered Selena’s gift for music and began working to develop her talents. He would form a new group called Selena y Los Dinos consisting of his children and started recording songs with Selena.

Abraham ” AB” Quintanilla III – son

Born 13 December 1963, Abraham Isaac Quintanilla III, known professionally as A. B. Quintanilla III or A. B. Quintanilla, is an American record producer, songwriter and musician. He is the first child of Marcella Samora and Abraham Quintanilla and the older brother of “The Queen of Tejano music” Selena.

A.B Quintanilla net worth
A.B Quintanilla

While living in Lake Jackson, Texas, A. B. learned to play the guitar and bass. Alongside Selena, his sister Suzette, and their father, Abraham, he became a member of the successful band Los Dinos. A. B. also became Selena’s producer. He co-wrote Selena’s hit songs like “Como la Flor” (“Like the Flower”) and “Amor Prohibido” (“Forbidden Love”).

In the 1997 film Selena, which depicted his sister’s stardom, Quintanilla was played by Jacob Vargas, while Rafael Tamayo played him as a child.

Suzette Quintanilla – daughter

Born on 29 June 1967, Suzette Quintanilla is an American musician who played the drums and percussion and provided backing vocals for the family band ‘Selena y Los Dinos’ (Selena and the Guys), in which her late sister, Selena, popularly known as ‘the Queen of Tejano music’, performed until her murder on 31 March 1995. She is Marcella’s second child and first daughter.

Suzette Quintanilla net worth
Suzette Quintanilla

Suzette ended her musical career following her sister’s death. She is currently involved with her father’s Latin entertainment company Q-Productions, Inc., and manages the Selena Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas. With her father, she is one of the executive producers of the Netflix biographical drama “Selena: The Series”, in which Mexican-American actress Noemi Gonzalez portrayed her.

Selena Quintanilla – daughter

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, businesswoman, model, actress, and fashion designer born on 16 April 1971. Referred to as the “Queen of Tejano music”, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. She was the last daughter of Marcella and her husband.

Also read: Camila Cabello “Cinderella” movie reviews.

Marcella’s daughter Selena would become highly successful during her brief life and career as a singer, model, songwriter, actress and fashion designer. She was the top-selling artist of the ’90s decade, and many outlets called her the “Tejano Madonna” because of her clothing choices. Selena ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all time and is responsible for putting Latin music to the mainstream market. She initially started her band with her older siblings and began recording professionally in the 1980s.

marcella samora bio: selena, ab, suzette, quintanilla family, net worth
Selena Quintanilla

She signed a record deal with EMI Latin and released the album “Entre a Mi Mundo”, which reached the top spot on the US Billboard Regional Mexican Albums. Her song “Como la Flor” became highly popular, and she then released her Grammy Award-winning album “Live!”, and a year later, her album “Amor Prohibido” became one of the best-selling Latin albums in the US.

Selena Quintanilla death – how old was Selena when she died?

Selena was killed on 31 March 1995, about two weeks before her 24th birthday, by Yolanda Saldívar, a self-proclaimed Selena fan who was the president of the Selena Fan Club and the manager of Selena Etc boutiques.

Soon after Saldívar’s appointment in 1994, Selena started to receive complaints about her from various sources. She, however, initially chose not to believe those. Her father later confronted Saldívar about financial inconsistencies and disappearing funds, following which the latter obtained a gun. Selena, who kept in touch with Saldívar despite her father’s objections, eventually confronted her about the financial papers, which resulted in Saldívar shooting her dead at her motel room.

Saldívar was cornered by police when she attempted to flee and threatened to kill herself but was convinced to give herself up. She was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison with possible parole after 30 years. Two weeks later, George W. Bush, governor of Texas at the time, declared 16 April as National Selena Day in Texas. Her posthumous crossover album, “Dreaming of You” (1995), debuted atop the Billboard 200, making Selena the first Latin artist to accomplish this feat.

In 2017, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her star’s unveiling ceremony was attended by around 4,500 fans, the largest-ever crowd for an unveiling ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

marcella samora bio: selena, ab, suzette, quintanilla family, net worth

Selena Quintanilla net worth

Some records suggest that Selena had made a few million dollars before her death in 1995. Probate documents confirmed that her net worth was $164,000 at the time of her demise. That’s roughly the equivalent of $280,000 in 2021. Her net worth has increased in the years since, adding value to her estate and her family’s wealth. Currently, she is estimated to be worth $5 million, according to Celebrity Networth.

Marcella Samora now

Samora now has three grandchildren and has been married to Abraham for over 50 years. Alongside her family and late Selena’s husband, Chris Pérez, she operates the Selena Foundation non-profit organisation. The foundation encourages young underprivileged children to pursue education and strive to be something in life.

In the 1997 biopic “Selena”, Marcella was portrayed by Constance Marie. In the ongoing Netflix series of the same name, Seidy Lopez has portrayed her.

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