Abraham Quintanilla

“Music was the only thing I knew how to do. The band was the thing we had going for. We all agreed to try and make a go of it.” – Abraham Quintanilla

The 83 year old Abraham Quintanilla, better known as the father of famous Tejano singer and frontwoman Selena, is an American singer, lyricist and producer. Selena y Los Dinos, the late singer-songwriter was his daughter. He was the manager of his son throughout her life.  After Selena’s murder in 1995, Quintanilla became an executive producer of a biographical film about her life, in which actor Edward James Olmos portrayed him. 

Overview of Abraham Quintanilla

  • Birth Name: Abraham Issac Quintanilla Jr.
  • Age: 83
  • Date of Birth: 20 February 1939
  • Place of Birth: Texas
  • Gender: Male
  • Nationality: American
  • Religion: Jewish
  • Education: Roy Miller High School
  • Father: Abraham Gonzalez Quintanilla Sr.
  • Mother: Maria Tereza Calderon
  • Spouse: Marcella Samora
  • Children: Abraham A B Quintanilla, Suzette Quintanilla and Selene Quintanilla
  • Net Worth: Approximately 10 million USD

Read also: Selena Quintanilla – Outfits, Early Life, Family

Initial Days and Childhood

  • Abraham Quintanilla Jr. was born in the United States on February 20, 1939, in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is the middle child of Maria Tereza Calderon and Abraham Gonzalez Quintanilla Sr. His folks gathered produce, cotton, and fruits.
  • The late musician, born in 1939, is a Texan native.
  • When he was in the fourteenth year, his parents, Abraham Gonzalez Quitanilla Sr. (an autobody repairman) and Maria Tereza Calderon, converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses leaving the Catholic Church.
  • Quintanilla Jr. attended the Roy Miller High School and joined a school choir named Gumdrops.
  • He soon dropped out to pursue career as a professional singer even after his mother’s disapproval.

Education

  • He attended Roy Miller High School. As was already noted, Abraham has always been passionate about music and has been interested in it since a very young age.
  • Due to his dedication and love of music, Abraham Quintanilla founded the high school chorus “gumdrops” with the help of two of his friends. that in order to pursue a career in the music industry, he dropped out of school.
  • It may sound as though he was always passionate about music, but his mother Tezera wasn’t on board with his decision to put his academics on hold in order to pursue a career in the music business.

Career

  • In 1956, Abraham approached the “Dinos” after he got the news the lead vocalist of the band is quitting and asked them if he can sing for them.
  • The group gave him a chance and invited him to practice with them.
  • The band crowned Abraham Quintanilla as the third voice of the band.
  • During the initial days of Dinos, they were given 30 USD at booked venues. In 1959, they released their single, “So hard to tell”, on Johnny Herrera owned J W Fox.
  • The music was a classic hit on KEYS and this helped the band to get bookings for sock hops in Kingsville, Woodsboro and Corpus, Texas.
  • During October 1961, after attending the boot camp, he went to the McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington. He met Marcella Samora there and got married to her in 1963 on 8 June.
  • After he was discharged from his duty, his first child, Abraham ‘A B’ Quintanilla, was born. The family shifted to his hometown after the child’s birth.
  • Soon, Quintanilla joined Los Dinos for the second time and started singing pop and rock and roll music.
  • He worked on several albums with Los Dinos including Con Esta Copa, The Dinos and Los Dinos.
  • In 1967, he quit the band after its popularity dropped down.

 Formation of Selena Y Los Dinos

  • In 1970s, Quintanilla shifted to Lake Jackson, Texas and worked at Dow Chemical to provide a living to his family.
  • They were settling in when doctors informed that Marcella had a tumor that needs to be removed at the earliest. However, Quintanilla and his wife opted for a second opinion before making a decision.
  • The medical practitioner told them that she is not having a tumor instead she is pregnant.
  • Marcella, on April 16, 1971, gave birth to a daughter who was named “Selena” by the roommate of Marcella at the hospital.
  • On a fine day, Quintanilla was teaching guitar to A B, his eldest son, when she entered the room and stated singing with her father.
  • He heard her singing and thought that she her voice is god gifted and so he started working on refining her talent.
  • Soon, he formed a new group and named it as Selena Y Los Dinos and started recording songs with Selena. This laid the foundation for the career of his children in the field of music.
  • Quintanilla, in 1979, opened a restaurant with a stage where his children can perform while enjoying the meal.
  • However, during the recession period of 1981, the restaurant was shut down and the family faced the effects of it.
  • Soon after, Abraham along with his family relocated to Corpus Christi after selling their home to avoid bankruptcy.
  • In 1984, the band was signed to Freddie Records.
  • The debut album of the band was released with the title Selena Y Los Dinos. However, this resulted in criticism of Selena from Freddie Martinez, the CEO of the Freddie Records, for coming forward in a male-dominated field.
  • Quintanilla soon released, The New Girl in Town, their second album. This led the band come up as the musical guest on the show of Johnny Canales.
  • After getting the fame, Selena Y Los Dinos welcomed the new guitarist Chris Perez in the group after their guitarist left the band.
  • However, he fired Perez after he got to know about the romance between Selena and Perez from Suette Quintanilla, his daughter.
  • However, at a later stage, he had to accept their marriage after the news broke out on the radio and also welcomed back Chris into the band.

Read also: Suzette Quintanilla: All About Her Career and Personal Life

Family and Personal Life

Quintanilla learned that he had been recruited into the US military in October 1961, and he later served at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, close to Tacoma, Washington. He met Marcella Samora, who would become his wife while serving. On June 8, 1963, they exchanged wedding vows. 

On December 13, 1963, the same day his father received his discharge papers, Abraham “A.B.” Quintanilla III was born. On June 29, 1967, Marcella gave birth to Suzette Michelle Quintanilla. Their youngest child, Selena, was born on April 16, 1971.

Chris Pérez and Abraham Quintanilla

Christopher Gilbert Pérez, an American guitarist best known as the main guitarist for the Tejano band Selena y Los Dinos, was born on August 14, 1969. A year or two after Pérez joined the band, Selena and he began dating. On April 2, 1992, he was married to Selena. Thus, he was the son-in-law of Abraham Quintanilla. 

Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s father, sued Perez for a TV agreement based on Perez’s autobiography, “To Selena, With Love.” According to Quintanilla, the series would contradict a contract Perez signed after Selena passed away, which gave Quintanilla control over Selena’s image and likeness.

Selena’s Tragic Death

After more than twenty years of his daughter’s death, he said:

“We’re programmed emotionally and spiritually to accept that the older folks go first, but when your child goes first, it’s a different kind of pain.”

“In my mind she’s still alive, because you get involved with all her things and doing things for her every day that sometimes I forget that she’s not here with us anymore. So in a sort of way, it’s hard to explain, in my mind, she’s alive.”

  • After the tragic murder of Selena Quintanilla by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club, Abraham Quintanilla got involved in albums and documentaries that revolved around her daughter’s life.
  • He also started a charitable organization in her name, the organization helped the children facing crisis.
  • In 1997, Quintanilla co-produced the biopic movie of Selena in which Edward James Olmos portrayed her role.
  • By the end of 2020, he released a book on the life of Selena Quintanilla.
  • In 2021, he released a memoir with the title “A Father’s Dream: My Family’s Journey in Music”.

 

Filmography

Films: 

Year

Film

Role

Notes

1997

Selena

 

Executive producer

1997

Selena Remembered

 

Producer

2003

Greatest Hits DVD

 

Producer

Television: 

Year

Title

Role

Notes

1995–present

Tejano Music Awards

Himself, receiving awards for Selena

TV appearances

1998

American Justice: Selena – Murder of a Star

Himself

1998

Behind the Music: Selena

Himself

1999

Corpus: A Home Video for Selena

Himself

2004

Noche de Estrellas: Premio lo Nuestro 2004

Himself, receiving awards for Selena

2005

Don Francisco Presenta

Himself

2005

Selena: Noche de Estrellas

Himself

2005

Selena ¡VIVE!

Himself

2005

Selena ¡vive!, Acceso total

Himself

2007

Selena: Queen of Tejano

Himself

2007

Making of Selena: 10 Years Later

Himself

Quintanilla’s experience with lawsuit

  • In 2016, a lawsuit was filed by Abraham Quintanilla against Perez’s TV adaptation “To Selena, with Love” to which Perez said that he would not exploit any properties related to entertainment in any manner by way of book, series, movie or any through other medium.
  • Later in an interview, Perez said that it was challenging to attend Selena’s 2017 Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony after the lawsuit.

Abraham Quintanilla Net Worth

Quintanilla is thought to have a net worth of $10 million, which he acquired from his different gigs as a singer, lyricist, and songwriter.

Some Undiscovered Facts About Abraham Quintanilla 

  • In addition to writing a biography of Selena, he had also written a novel about her life. A Father’s Dream: My Family’s Journey in Music is a book.
  • While he was training his kid to play the guitar, he had come upon Selena’s enchanting voice.
  • Before enlisting in the US military, he and his bandmates put out a number of successful records.
  • Early on in his professional career with the “Dinos,” the band received thirty US dollars for each show they played at the agreed-upon location.

Reference Link

Abraham Quintanilla- FAQs

Where does Abraham Quintanilla live now?

According to a video posted on YouTube, the family now lives in Corpus Christi, Texas.

What is the nationality of Abraham Quintanilla?

Abraham Quintanilla is a native of Texas, America.

Who inherited Selena’s money?

Selena estate run by Abraham Quintanilla holds power over the money inherited from Selena.

What is Abraham Quintanilla doing now?

Abraham Quintanilla, after his daughter Selena Quintanilla’s death, continued to produce series, music and movies around Selena’s life and also got involved in the charity through the charitable organization laid down in the name of his daughter.

What is Abraham Quintanilla’s net worth?

The current net worth of the musician is estimated to be somewhere around 10 million USD. However, the value is expected to increase since he is still active in the music industry.

How old is Abraham Quintanilla?

In 2022, the famous musician, lyricist and producer is in the 83rd year of his life.

What is Abraham Quintanilla doing now?

Quintanilla established The Selena Foundation, an organization that aids kids in need, after Selena passed away. In addition to continuing to work with the charity, he also runs Q-Productions, a record label for Latin music that he established in 1993.

Why did Abraham Quintanilla not like Chris Perez?

Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s father, sued Perez for a TV agreement based on Perez’s autobiography, “To Selena, With Love.” According to Quintanilla, the series would contradict a contract Perez signed after Selena passed away, which gave Quintanilla control over Selena’s image and likeness.


Was Abraham Quintanilla in the Military?

Quintanilla was enlisted in the US Air Force in October 1961. He was sent to McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington, following boot camp. He met Marcella Samora, a half-Cherokee Indian and half-Mexican American, there.

Is Abraham Quintanilla’s have kids with his first wife?

Abraham and Vangie, his first wife. Additionally, between 2002 and 2007, Quintanilla gave birth to one girl and five additional sons. He has a grandchild as well. On November 12, 2011, he wed his longtime partner Rikkie Leigh Robertson.

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