Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life and music of the Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla on the anniversary of the release of her debut album back in 1989. The animated doodle, set to Quintanilla’s extremely catchy “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” shows the singer’s evolution from a little girl singing into a hairbrush to the Queen of Tejano, whose music still resonates years after her untimely death.
The doodle is the result of the hard work of Perla Campos, Google Doodle’s marketing manager, who was determined to get Quintanilla on the search engine’s home page. “One of my dearest childhood memories is of my mom and I belting her classics like ‘Bidi Bidi Bom Bom’ and ‘Techno Cumbia’ in the family van during our annual road trips to Mexico,” Campos wrote in a blog post. “But Selena’s influence in my life goes so much further than that. I’m the daughter of a Mexican immigrant single mother and grew up in a small, primarily white town in rural Texas. Selena taught me that being Latina was a powerful thing, and that with hard work and focus, I could do whatever I set my mind to. ”
Quintanilla’s rise to super stardom was definitely inspiring. She sang from heart and it resonated with fans, catapulting her to the top of the charts. In 1986 she was awarded the Tejano Music award for “Female Vocalist of the Year,” an accolade she won before she had even released her first studio album. In 1993, she became the first female artist–and the youngest–to win a Grammy for best Mexican/American album. She was still a rising star when she was shot and killed by the manager of her fan club who had been caught embezzling.
According to an interview with Billboard, Campos worked with Google’s illustrator/Art Lead Kevin Laughlin and Quintanilla’s family for two years to make sure that the Doodle did the singer, her story, and her music justice. Campos worked closely with Quintanilla’s sister, Suzanne, and her family to pay tribute to the star and her ardent fanbase. That’s why Google’s salute to the Latin superstar doesn’t end with just a Doodle. The company teamed up with the Quintanilla family to create a virtual exhibit of some of the costumes that Selena made herself (including her iconic jumpsuit) and a display of fan art dedicated to Selena’s life, all featured on Google’s Arts & Culture site.