Chris Perez On Honouring Celebrating His Late Wife Selena Quintanilla’s Legacy

Chris Perez is a well-known artist who experienced love twice. 

Who is Chris Pérez? 

Christopher Gilbert Pérez is a famed American performer, instrumentalist, creator, and guitarist. 

Chris Perez On Honouring Celebrating His Late Wife Selena Quintanilla’s Legacy

He served as the principal guitarist for the band ‘Selena y Los Dinos.’ Chris is also recognized for his appearance in the television film ‘Selena ¡vive!’ (2005). 

He has also been featured in a short documentary titled ‘Making of Selena: 10 Years Later (2007), which was based on the murder of his spouse, Selena Quintanilla-Perez. 

He is also renowned for his appearance in the television documentary film ‘¡Mi Gente! My People!’ (1999). 

He became a part of Shelly Lares’ band in 1986 and gained prominence for his exceptional guitar skills. 

He caught the attention of A. B. Quintanilla, who was scouting for a new lead guitarist for the Tejano band ‘Selena y Los Dinos.’ 

However, Perez joined the band in 1988 and continued to perform with the band until 1995. 

Perez went on to leave a mark in the music industry and is considered one of the skilled guitarists. 

He won the ‘Best Latin/Alternative Performance’ at the 2000 ‘Grammy Awards.’ 

Early Life of Chris

Christopher Gilbert Perez was born on 14 August 1969, in San Antonio, Texas, USA. His parents were Gilbert Perez and Carmen Medina. However, his father was a software engineer. 

When he was four years old, his parents divorced, and his mother remarried in 1978. His mother supported him as he learned to play the French horn during his middle school days. 

She also allowed him to become part of the school band. At that time, there was a common misconception that loud music was a negative influence on youth. 

Therefore, his mother opposed his decision to learn the electric guitar. Nevertheless, he was so passionate about it that he learned and started playing the electric guitar. 

He was a fan of musical bands such as ‘Diverse Crue,’ ‘Van Halen,’ ‘Def Leppard,’ ‘Scorpions,’ and ‘Kiss.’ 

He also admired artists like Ozzy Osbourne and Ricky Martin. Additionally, many of his guitar performances are inspired by American-Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana. 

Career Beginning

Chris left his home at the age of 17. He took on his father’s profession and started working in a library. Chris was approached by Tony Lares to join his Cousin Shelly Lares’ band in 1986. 

Even though Chris was not interested in Shelly’s Tejano music (diverse types of folk and popular music), he joined the band because it paid him better than his library job. 

When Tony left the band, Chris became the musical director of the band. He also co-wrote three songs for Shelly’s debut album in 1998. His guitar skills were adored and respected by his fans and musicians alike. 

Chris was then approached by bassist A. B. Quintanilla III of the ‘Selena y Los Dinos’ band to join them. He became a part of the band in 1989 as the sounds used by ‘Los Dinos’ were more ‘sophisticated and stylish.’ 

The band released several popular albums such as ‘Entre a Mi Mundo’ (1992), ‘Love Prohibido’ (1994), and ‘Longing for You’ (1995). 

Subsequently, he also continued as the lead guitarist for ‘Kumbia Kings’ (2003-2006) and A. B. Quintanilla (2001-2008). 

Additionally, in 2008, Chris formed a band called ‘Chris Perez Band’ with Garza, Rudy Martinez, Joe Odeja, and Jesse Esquivel. 

The band was signed to ‘Hollywood Records,’ and their debut album ‘Revival’ was recorded at ‘Henson Studio.’ 

The album, released on 18 May 1999, included songs such as ‘Best I Can,’ ‘One more Day,’ and ‘Solo Tu.’ It went on to win the ‘Grammy Award’ for the ‘Best Latin, Rock, Urban or Alternative’ album. 

However, the band disbanded after releasing their second album, ‘Una Nocha Mas.’ In 2010, Chris collaborated with Puerto Rican artist Angel Ferrer to form a band called ‘Chris Perez Project.’ 

They then released an album called ‘Task es Diferente.’ In 2012, he went on to publish his book ‘To Selena With Love.’ 

Rumors and controversies 

In 1992, Chris was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding. Chris, at that point, was accompanied by his cousins and friends. When the police had a verbal altercation with his cousin, Chris came to his aid. 

Subsequently, the police handcuffed Chris and his cousin. However, the police had to release them as they couldn’t prove that they were involved in a high-speed chase. 

A few months after his arrest, Chris booked a room in a hotel with two of his musicians. They became intoxicated and started wrestling in the lobby. Afterwards, Chris left the room.

Chris and the two musicians were dismissed from the band ‘Selena y Los Dinos,’ and Quintanilla forbade Selena from seeing Chris. 

His relationships and love life

Chris and Selena began dating during a trip to Mexico. They professed their love for each other at a ‘Pizza Hut’ restaurant. Selena’s mother supported their romance, but Selena’s father was against their relationship. 

Subsequently, Quintanilla Jr. terminated Chris from the band. In 1992, Selena and Chris eloped to Nueces County, Texas. 

In a tragic incident, Selena was killed by her boutique manager named Yolanda Saldivar. Yolanda attempted suicide and was apprehended by the police. 

She was later sentenced to life imprisonment. As Selena was an amazing artist who had released blockbuster albums, George W. Bush declared Selena’s birthday as ‘Selena Day’ in Texas. 

For a long time, Chris did not pursue any other relationship and remained single. He met Venessa Villanueva in 1998, and they instantly fell in love with each other. 

They tied the knot in 2001 and were blessed with two children, a daughter named Cassie and a son named Noah. Chris frequently shares pictures of his children on social media. Chris’ marriage with Venessa did not last long as the couple got divorced in 2008. 

Chris had a severe drinking problem, and drug use was the reason for their separation.

After the divorce, Chris had to relinquish all his assets to Vanessa as alimony. 

Chris Perez’s wealth

As of 2019, Chris Perez’s net worth was approximately $1.2 million.  However, it has decreased to $1 million in 2021.

More about His work and career and his musical preferences

He released a limited edition EP titled ‘Chris Perez Project’ through his website. He also recorded a full-length album, which was produced by Emilio at the ‘Alamodome.’ 

Chris has performed at the ‘Celebration People En Espanol,’ alongside Demi Lovato, ‘3BallMTY,’ and ‘Wisin and Yandel’ among several other artists. His favorite genres of music are rock, Latin rock, cumbia, Tejano, and heavy metal.

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