Full Name: Christopher Gilbert Pérez
Birthdate: October 14, 1969
Birthplace: Coral Springs, Florida, USA
Known for: American guitarist in the Quintanilla Family band, Tejano Band Selena y Los Dinos
Family: Gilbert Pérez (Father), Carmen Medina (Mother), Cassie Pérez (Daughter), Noah Pérez (Son), Selena Quintanilla (ex-wife), Venessa Villanueva (ex-wife), Abraham Quintanilla (former father-in-law), Suzette Quintanilla (former sister-in-law), AB Quintanilla (former brother-in-law).
Who is Chris Pérez?
Christopher Pérez was born Christopher Gilbert Pérez in San Antonio, Texas, the United States, on October 14, 1969. He is best known for being a guitarist and author, the guitarist to the Tejana Band Selena y Los Dinos and the husband of Selena Quintanilla.
Chris Perez joined the Tejana Band Selena y Los Dinos after catching AB Quintanilla’s attention when he became famous for his amazing guitar skills in the Shelly Lares’ band in 1986. He joined the Quintanilla family band in 1989 as a lead guitarist and continued to perform with the band till 1995 after Selena’s death.
He began a personal relationship with Selena within a year or two after joining the band before Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, forced the pair to end the relationship because he thought Perez’s image could damage Selena’s career. He is considered one of the ace guitarists and won Best Latin/Alternative Performance at the 2000 Grammy Awards.
Chris Perez was born in San Antonia, Texas, the USA, on August 14, 1969, to parents Gilbert Perez and Carmen Medina. His father, Gilbert, was a computer programmer. His parents divorced in 1974 at the age of four. However, his mother remarried in 1978. During his middle school years, his mother encouraged him to learn to play the French horn.
She also gave him permission to join the school band. There was a widespread belief at the time that rock and roll music had a negative impact on youth. As a result, his mother was against him learning electric guitar. He was, however, so enthralled by it that he mastered it and began playing electric guitar. Van Halen, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Kiss, the Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden were among Pérez’s favourite musicians.
During the 1990s, he started to adore Ricky Martin. Carlos Santana particularly has influenced many of his guitar solos. Carlos Santana has influenced many of his guitar solos. When Pérez was seventeen, he planned to run away to Los Angeles, California, to join a rock band. He and his father shared an apartment and he also worked at a library at the time. In 1986, Tony Lares requested Pérez to join his cousin Shelly Lares’ band. Shelly sang Tejano music, which is a mix of traditional Mexican folk music, polkas, and country music is sung in Spanish or English.
Pérez despised Tejano music and admitted in To Selena, With Love that he joined Shelly’s band with “foot-dragging resistance” because it paid more than working at the library. After Tony quit the group, he became Shelly’s musical director and co-wrote three songs for her debut album in 1989. Chris Pérez is of Mexican-American ancestry.
After Chris Pérez became the musical director and co-wrote three songs for Shelly’s debut album, he was approached by AB Quintanilla Jr., of the Selena y Los Dinos band, to join them. He joined the band as lead guitarist after Roger Garcia married and left the business in 1989. Chris Pérez joined because their sounds were “more sophisticated and hip.” Los Dinos released many popular albums, including Entre a Mi Mundo in 1992, Amor Prohibido in 1994 and Dreaming of You in 1995.
Pérez auditioned for A.B. Quintanilla’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., the group’s manager. Pérez’s rocker image irritated Abraham Quintanilla Jr at first, and he requested that he adapt his appearance for the band. The older Quintanilla was concerned that bringing Pérez into the group might jeopardize his daughter Selena’s “perfect image” and career.
A.B. persuaded his father to welcome Pérez and encouraged him to experiment with numerous musical genres and adapt their sounds to his own preferences. He and A.B became great friends and cooperated on songwriting for Selena’s second album on occasion. Pérez, like Selena, spoke little Spanish and was schooled by lead keyboardist Ricky Vela.
Chris Perez Relationship With Selena
After Perez and A.B. wrote Selena’s Coca-Cola commercial jingle in 1989 and Selena filmed the commercial, A.B. took the band on vacation to Acapulco, Mexico. During the trip, Perez realized his attraction to Selena but tried to distance himself from her because he had a girlfriend in San Antonio. However, it was difficult, and they eventually expressed their feelings for each other in a Pizza Hut restaurant. At first, they hid their relationship from the entire Quintanilla family, especially Abraham Quintanilla, due to fears he would break them up.
Selena’s mother, Marcella, approved of the relationship. Later on, Suzette Quintanilla reported the relationship to her father, who removed Perez from the bus and told him that was the end. The couple, however, continued seeing each other secretly, but tensions kept on rising, especially when Abraham called Perez “a cancer in my family.” After threatening to disband the group if the couple did not break up, Abraham fired Chris Perez from the band, leaving Selena devastated.
Perez moved back in with his father. Selena struggled after he left and finally went to him in April 1992 and convinced him to elope with her. They did, and they eloped in Nueces County, Texas. Selena and Perez moved into an apartment in Corpus Christi. Although Abraham initially didn’t take the news well, he eventually accepted the marriage and accepted Perez back into the Quintanilla family. Perez had now become fully accepted by the entire Quintanilla family.
Selena was tragically murdered by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of her fan club, after discovering that she was embezzling money. Perez claimed he couldn’t eat for two days after Selena’s death and resulted in alcohol and drug use because he felt guilty for not protecting his wife. Yolanda Saldívar is serving life and will be eligible for parole in 2025.
Legal Dispute with the Quintanilla Family
Perez and the Quintanilla family were involved in a legal dispute over Perez’s plan to make a miniseries based on “To Selena, With Love,” which he wrote in 2012. Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s father, spoke out against the show in 2017, calling the memoir an unauthorized publication. Quintanilla filed a lawsuit against Perez and two firms who planned to make the novel into a series.
According to the lawsuit, Perez signed a settlement following her assassination in 1995 that gave full rights to Selena’s likeness and name to Selena’s estate. Perez announced in a tweet on the Tuesday afternoon of September 14, 2021, that the legal battle with the Quintanilla family had been “amicably resolved.” Online court records show that Quintanilla Jr. and Perez filed a joint motion to dismiss the lawsuit on September 8, 2021.
Selena’s family and husband Chris Perez eventually ended the long legal feud.
Good news! I have amicably resolved my legal dispute with the Quintanilla family. Now that these issues are behind us, going forward, my hope, and the hope of the Quintanilla family, is for us to work together to continue to honor and celebrate the legacy of Selena.— Chris Perez wrote
It’s unknown what the two parties agreed to, but Abraham released a post on his Facebook page that was similar in tone.
The Chris Pérez Band
In 1998, he created a rock band with Garza, Rudy Martinez (a former member of La Mafia), Joe Ojeda (formerly of Selena y Los Dinos), and Jesse Esquivel (drums). Garza, Martinez, Ojeda, and Esquivel chose the band’s name (the Chris Pérez Band). Chris liked the name Cinco Souls, but his “reluctant celebrity” was desired by the other band members. The band signed to Hollywood Records and began recording their debut album at A&M Studios (now Henson Studios) in Los Angeles. Pérez wrote “Best I Can” to express his grief about losing Selena and his inability to move on without her. The song was not intended for the album since he didn’t want listeners to assume he included it for commercial reasons, but after hearing the demo, Hollywood Records and the band persuaded him to add it.
Perez’s and Selena’s fans have long praised him for his support and Love for Selena’s legacy. Chris Perez’s Instagram account is @chrispereznow.
That is all for now on the biography of Chris Pérez.