BIO SUMMARY

Full Name: Suzette Michelle Quintanilla

Birthdate: June 29, 1967

Birthplace: Laketown Jackson, Texas, USA

Status: Married

Known for: American singer, drummer, and actress. Sister to Selena Quintanilla.

Family: Abraham Quintanilla Jr (Father), Marcella Samora (Mother), Selena Quintanilla (Sister), A.B Quintanilla III (Brother). Suzette Quintanilla is a popular Texas singer and actress. She played the drums, percussion and was also the backing vocals alongside her late sister, Selena, who is widely regarded as the Queen of Tejano in their family band known as Selena Y Los Dinos.  

Although her musical career was cut short due to her sister’s sudden death, the former band member continues to keep her sister’s memory alive through various means. This includes Selena tribute concerts, such as the Selena Y Los Dinos ¡VIVE! Concert in 2005, which was the first time the members of the Selena y Los Dinos band publicly reunited after Selena passed. She also uses a cosmetics collection to keep her sister’s legacy alive. Here is the complete Suzette Quintanilla biography.

Suzette Quintanilla Biography

Childhood

Suzette Quintanilla was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, in 1967. Her father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., is a Mexican-born record producer and songwriter who has influenced his children’s musical careers. Marcella Ofelia Samora, her mother, is a homemaker.

Her brother, A.B Quintanilla III (Abraham Isaac Quintanilla III), followed his father’s footsteps to become an American record producer, and her sister, Selena Quintanilla, was murdered in 1995. Suzette is four years Selena’s senior.

When their father, Abraham Quintanilla, discovered Selena’s talent for singing, he formed the band Selena y Los Dinos, with Suzette on drums and their brother, A.B. Quintanilla, on the guitar.

The band performed at weddings and other community events for many years, including their family’s restaurant, Papagayos. Suzette, on the other hand, didn’t want to be the band’s drummer at first. In an interview with Texas Monthly, she said when the band first started performing together, she was in middle school and was “really self-conscious,” especially since there weren’t many young female drummers at the time.

Suzette Quintanilla of Tejano Music
Suzette Quintanilla was on drums in the band

Nevertheless, Suzette made immense sacrifices to support her sister’s gift, and because the pair were often on the road together with limited interaction with other people their age, they grew all the closer, according to Suzette.

Suzette was Selena’s confidant as the singer rose to stardom and began her solo career, becoming Latin music’s best-selling female singer and receiving a Grammy Award for Selena Live!

Suzette and Selena Grew Closer
Suzette and Selena Got Closer

Even at the peak of her fame, Selena, according to Suzette, was ignorant of how popular she’d become. Suzette revealed that her sister brought a camera to the 1994 Grammy Awards “so she could take pictures of the stars,” and that she was surprised when she won an award that year.

Selena’s secret affair with Perez, the band’s lead guitarist, strained relations with the family, especially as the band members sought to conceal the relationship from Abraham.

He eventually discovered Selena’s relationship with Perez by spying on the couple hiding behind the tour bus. Suzette, who had reservations about their relationship from the start, warned Selena that if their father inquired about it, she would tell him she didn’t know anything. Selena and Perez eventually eloped because it seemed like the only way they could be together.

However, before the pair could celebrate their third wedding anniversary in 1995, Selena was cruelly shot at the age of 23 by the president of her fan club. As Suzette has recounted in several interviews, the news was devastating.

Selena and Perez eloped and got married
Selena and Perez eloped and got married

Suzette Quintanilla Career

Suzette’s love of music began at a young age when she became a part of her father’s band Selena y Los Dinos, with her brothers. She played the drums, her older brother the bass guitar, and her younger sister, Selena, sang.

Her father continued to train her after she graduated from high school and devoted herself totally to her musical career. The family band was later signed to Freddie records because of their popularity. They released their first full-length album, Mis Primeras Grabaciones, in 1984.

Later, they released Munequito De Trapo (Rag Doll), which was promoted and featured at Tejano Music Awards. And the winner is (1987), Preciosa (1988), and Dulce Amor (1989) are the band’s other albums (1988). Suzette stayed with the band till the tragic murder of her sister.  She then decided to stop her singing career and explore something new.

Marriage and Relationship

Suzette Quintanilla is married to Bill Arriaga, a successful businessman. They have been together since 1993.  Suzette’s wedding is featured in the Netflix original series Selena: The Series, for which she contributes as executive producer. The show is an autobiography that depicts Selena’s life, family members, and Suzette’s marriage to Bill Arriaga. Suzette and Bill have a son, Jovan Arriaga, who was born in 1998.

Present Life

She is currently the CEO and president of Q-Productions Inc, which oversees the Quintanilla family record label. Aside from being a producer, she also runs the Selena Museum, a memorial in Corpus Christi, Texas, showing Selena’s memories and designs.

She also coordinates the Selena MAC Cosmetics collection. Suzette regularly attends numerous events in memory of her late sister. For example, she and the rest of her family attended a ceremony in 2017 to honor her late sister with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

She’s worked on a slew of other Selena projects over the last 25years, including creating two best-selling Selena M.A.C. Cosmetics Cosmetics. She was most recently an executive producer on the Netflix series; Selena, The Series, which is currently one of the top ten most-watched shows on the streaming platform.

Suzette said that part two of the series was tough for the Quintanilla family to relive because it dives deeper into some of the tension amongst family members after Selena eloped and because it portrays her sister’s death.

Suzette Quintanilla Social Media

Suzette Quintanilla has a sizable social media following, particularly on Instagram, where she has 765k followers. Suzette Quintanilla is dedicated to preserving and honoring her sister’s legacy.

The Quintanilla Family

The rest of the Quintanilla family are alive and have continued to live well since the death since Selena’s death.

Following her death, her parents formed The Selena Foundation, which provides food and supplies to low-income families in South Texas. Her sister, Suzette Quintanilla, today oversees the Selena Museum in Texas, and her big brother, A.B. Quintanilla, is still a record producer and songwriter. Her husband, Pérez, has worked tirelessly to honor his late wife and bandmate. He wrote a book titled “To Selena, with Love,” in 2012.