Selena was a “beacon of hope” for bicultural people—including the Googler behind her doodle homage

Queen Selena.
Queen Selena.
Image: AP Photo/Paul Howell
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Google often celebrates cultural figures with a clever doodle on its search page.

But it’s going all-out on its homage to Tex-Mex star Selena Quintanilla, who is today’s doodle honoree. The doodle, which is animated, tells the story of Selena’s spectacular rise from her modest family band in South Texas to Grammy winner. Of course, it’s accompanied by her music—the song Bidi bidi bom bom, one of her most famous.

Google has also launched an online exhibit of Selena portraits and rhinestone-studded fashion, and posted a lengthy video interview with the singer’s sister.

Selena, as she’s known by her fans, was a Texas-born singer who took the sound of the US-Mexico border mainstream. She sang in Spanish and her band played a catchy polka-rock-cumbia fusion that caught on well beyond the Latino market. She also inspired millions of people who share her Mexican-American background, including Perla Campos, Google’s doodle marketing lead.

Instead of the usual doodle background note, Campos wrote a heartfelt account of how as a little girl she was taught by Selena to believe that “no matter who you are or where you come from, anything is possible,” she wrote. She added:

Aside from incredible dance moves and how to belt some serious notes, watching 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. Watching her showed me that this hybrid cultural identity of mine was a valuable gift I should embrace. Watching her made me proud of being Mexicana.

Selena was murdered by the founder of a fan club in 1995, just as she had finished recording her first English album. More than 20 years later, she’s become an icon for the Latino community, and for many others as well.