Selena Quintanilla’s whirlwind love story with Chris Pérez is one for the books. The two first met in the early ’90s when Chris joined Selena’s band, Selena y Los Dinos, as a guitarist, and it was pretty much love at first sight. In fact, the first two words that came to Chris’s mind when he laid eyes on the Tejano singer were: “beautiful and talented.” “I’m a shy person by nature, and there was just something about her that she was able to pull me out,” Chris previously told Entertainment Tonight.
26 years after her tragic death, Selena and Chris’s heart-wrenching romance is being revisited once again in part two of Netflix’s Selena: The Series. In the premiere episode, we see Selena and Chris elope at a Texas courthouse, and yes, that’s exactly how things went down in real life. Despite her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr.’s, disapproval of Chris, the two secretly wed on April 2, 1992. At the time, Selena was 20 years old and Chris was 22. “Selena and I decided that the only way to be together . . . was to run away and get married,” Chris wrote on Facebook back in 2017. “What a rollercoaster ride THAT day was.”
“I’m a shy person by nature, and there was just something about her that she was able to pull me out.”
Like any other couple, Selena and Chris dealt with their fair share of ups and downs throughout their relationship. “I think what it boiled down to is that we were young,” Chris told CNN in 2012. “We were married and together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We had to learn how to handle that and that was both of us.” Chris admitted that he and Selena even contemplated divorce at one point, but they eventually patched things up and began having discussions about starting a family. Sadly, that never came to be as Selena was fatally shot at 23 years old by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar, on March 31, 1995.
Since her death, Chris has continued to keep Selena’s memory alive. In addition to heartfelt tributes on social media, Chris recently celebrated Selena after she was posthumously honored with the lifetime achievement award at this year’s Grammys. “To say that I’m proud of all that Selena represents and so proud of her accomplishments would be a HUGE understatement,” Chris wrote on Instagram. “Special thanks to the Grammy organization and especially all of you (her fans) that continue to listen, watch, and support all the amazing things she left behind for us to treasure.”