Explainers

Laura Canales on Selena: Who was she and did they really meet at the 1986 Tejano Music Awards?

Selena: The Series on Netflix
Christian Serratos starred as Selena in Selena: The Series. Pic credit: Netflix

Selena: The Series, a new biographical drama series that premiered on Netflix on December 4, tells the life story of “The Queen of Tejano music,” Selena Quintanilla.

The series, which stars actress Christian Serratos as Selena, Madison Taylor Baez as Young Selena, and Gabriel Chavarria as Selena’s brother A.B. Quintanilla, focuses on the Tejano music star’s childhood, her family, and her rise to international stardom as a singer, model, and actress.

The series also introduces viewers to another Tejano music star, Laura Canales.

Many fans have since been inquiring about the singer Laura Canales who preceded Selena as a superstar in the Tejano music scene.

If you have also been wondering who Laura Canales was, here is what you need to know.

Who was Laura Canales?

Laura Canales was an American Tejano singer born in Kingsville, Texas, in August 1954.

Many recognized Canales as a talented vocalist during her years at Henrietta M. King High School in Kingsville.

With her father’s encouragement, she focused on her Tejano music career after leaving high school in 1973.

She collaborated as a vocalist with famous Tejano conjunto groups, including El Conjunto Bernal and Los Unicos.

She was a founding member of Snowball & Company, a band formed in 1975.

Snowball & Company included the accordionist Ramiro de La Cruz (aka Snowball), Baldemar Muñoz (drums, percussion), and Oscar R. Solis (keyboards, accordion, bass, harmonica).

She and her bandmates renamed Snowball & Company, Felicidad after de La Cruz left the group in 1978.

The is known for hit singles, such as their cover of Linda Ronstadt’s Midnight Blue and their self-titled album Snowball & Company.

Canales and Balde Munoz tied the knot in 1981 and rebranded the group Laura Canales & Encanto.

Laura Canales & Encanto is known for hits such as Sí Viví Contigo.

She won many awards and accolades, including the Yellow Rose of Texas Award. She also won Tejano Music Awards’ best female entertainer and best female vocalist for four consecutive years (1983-1986).

Selena would later break Canales’ winning streak record in the 1990s.

Canales briefly dropped out of the music scene in the mid-1980s and worked for some time as a disc jockey in Houston.

She quit Laura Canales & Encanto after she and Munoz divorced in 1989.

She later made appearances with another Tejano band, Los Fabulosos Cuatro, in the 1990s and had a successful solo career, during which she released the hit album, No Regrets.

Canales took a break from her music career in 1992 to enroll for a degree course in psychology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

She graduated with a degree in speech therapy in 1997 and went on to obtain a Master’s degree at the same university.

Canales was inducted into the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame in 2000 as part of the first class of inductees.

She died unexpectedly in Corpus Christi on April 16, 2005, due to pneumonia complications following a routine gall bladder surgery.

Did Laura Canales meet Selena at the 1986 Tejano Music Awards?

A scene from Selena: The Series shows Selena starstruck when she met Laura Canales in the bathroom at the 1986 Tejano Music Awards.

Canales also offered her advice, encouraging her to only be herself.

Some viewers have been wondering whether the scene depicted in the series actually happened in real life.

Although Canales mentored Selena during the early years of her career, it is unknown how and when the two first met.

Although some have suggested that Selena’s sister Suzette, who served as executive producer in the series, could be the source of the story, it is not clear that the bathroom meeting happened in real life.

The writers might have created the scene only for dramatic effect.

Although Selena would later become Canales’ top rival in the music scene, their relationship remained cordial.

Selena acknowledged Canales as the one who paved the way for her success.

Selena: The Series is currently available on Netflix. 

John Thomas Didymus


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