The young and charming musician Chris Perez caught the limelight when he joined Selena y Los Dinos. Later, he got romantically involved with the frontwoman of the band, Selena Quintanilla, and grabbed the paparazzi's attention.
However, this is all the general audience and Latino music fans know about Chris Perez. There is much more behind the American musician and the story he has to tell.
We will reveal Chris Perez and his story to you, so proceed to read about the man who continued living for his wife's legacy.
About Chris Perez
Chris or Christopher Gilbert Perez was born in San Antonio, Texas, on 14th August 1969. He was born with a knack for music and started his musical journey in a high school music band. His love for music grew, leading him to become passionate about playing guitar.
Chris's love for music and talent for music earned him a respectable place in Tejano music. He was soon a well-known guitarist. Initially, he joined Shelly Lares' Band in 1986. With his growing popularity, he found himself in Quintanilla's Band, Selena y Los Dinos.
So, he took up a new path in his musical journey and became a guitarist of the band Selena y Los Dinos. In the course, he also met his future wife, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the group's frontwoman and the sister of A.B. Quintanilla.
Besides his musical achievements, he was also encircled by a few controversies.
In the early 1990s, Chris Perez drove under the influence in San Antonio and got arrested. Later, he was released without charges. In a second event, he got caught up in a trashed-hotel-room incident. These two incidents were only months apart.
Chris and the other two members of Selena y Los Dinos got intoxicated in the second incident. They began wrestling in the room, causing damage to the hotel property. They broke the door and punched holes in the hotel room.
Chris Perez And Selena: The Young Love
Soon after joining the band, Selena y Los Dinos, Chris Perez, and Selena, the band's frontwoman, formed a warm camaraderie.
It was the prime time of Selena as she had been titled the Female Entertainer of the Year at Tejano Music Awards.
The two young bandmates grew closer on a trip to Acapulco, Mexico. They got romantically involved and decided to date secretly.
The truth had to be disclosed one day, and Selena's family positively accepted their relationship when it did. However, Selena's father and manager disapproved of it.
Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla, did not want her to date someone with a controversial history and a "bad boy image." He was afraid Chris's past could tarnish the fame their daughter had built.
The conflict resulted in a lot of drama in the group. Selena's father forced the two to break off their relationship and gave threats of disbanding the group.
Eventually, Perez got fired from the band. However, this did not stop the two from loving each other. Against all the odds, the two stood firmly to pursue their love for each other.
The two young musicians couldn't persuade Selena's family, and so they eloped. In 1992, when Selena was 20 and Chris was 22, the couple made their relationship official.
Soon after, Selena gained immense popularity, and her stardom saw new heights each day. She released an album, Entre a Mi Mundo. The album earned widespread popularity and became Billboard Magazine's second-best regional Mexican album of all time.
The album also achieved the title of best-selling female Tejano record.
In 1994, Selena Live's concert album bagged a Grammy for the best Mexican-American album. She was the first Tejano artist to achieve this level of fame and recognition.
Throughout Selena's musical achievements, Chris Perez supported her and grew prouder each day.
The Tragedy Of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez
Like all good stories see a sharp, screeching turn, Selena and Chris' love story too witnessed a tragedy.
On 31st March 1995, Selena was killed by the boutique manager of her business, Yolanda Saldivar.
The young singer's family had fired the boutique manager and the former president of Selena's fan club over the discrepancies in the company's finances.
Angered, Yolanda Saldivar sought revenge and planned to kill Selena. She decided to meet the singer in private with an excuse to hand over the business documents. Saldivar shot Selena during her visit.
She suffered a gunshot on the back, ripping through her right shoulder into the lungs, veins, and major arteries. Hence, she could not be saved. She used her last words to identify her killer. Saldivar was found guilty.
The love story of Selena and Chris saw a tragic end as Chris was informed of the unfortunate happening. By the time he reached the hospital, Selena had passed away.
When his wife left to meet Saldivar, Chris was asleep. After waking up, he conjectured that she might have gone to spend time with her father.
The news of Selena, one of the most popular Latina stars passing away, jolted the industry. It was unbelievable for her fans that she had been shot by one of her most trusted companions.
Perez chose to grieve his wife's loss privately, so he disappeared from the media's sight.
In an interview, he later confessed how everything had changed drastically for him. With Selena, his life felt like a breeze. He also revealed that he always felt unsafe when Selena would meet Saldivar.
Chris Perez sought peace and an outlet in music after Selena's death.
He formed a band with Keyboardist Joe Ojeda and Singer John Gar za, Chris Perez Band, and released new songs.
Chris Perez And The Dispute With Selena's Family
In 2000, Chris's rock album, Resurrection, bagged the Grammy for the Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.
He wrote the song Best I Can for his late wife, Selena.
In 2001, Perez found another partner and got married. He had two children from his second marriage. However, his second marriage saw an end, too, as his partner and he parted ways.
A biopic titled Selena was released to honor Selena's legacy. The film gained enormous popularity. Moreover, the film also portrayed the relationship between Perez and Selena.
In 2012, Perez released a memoir expressing his journey. He also received blessings from his former father-in-law.
Sadly, the relationship between Perez and his father-in-law saw turbulence. Abraham sued Chris and his production company, Blue Mariachi and Endemol Shine Latino, to create a TV series of the memoir.
According to him, the TV show violated the estate properties agreement. Selena's father owned Selena's brand after her demise, and so the feud went on.
Several other disputes between Perez and Selena's family took place over the years. All of them had to do with Selena's brand image and the potential exploitation either of them could do.
Chris Perez Continues Selena's Legacy
While the disputes between Selena's family and Chris Perez keep going on, Chris continues to pass on the legacy Selena left behind.
He encourages the youth to stay in school and work hard for what they want, a message Selena would like to pass on to the younger generation.
Chris continues to support Selena and celebrate her life even after so many years of her demise.