Selena’s Family Sues UMG for Digital Royalties

A few short days after the 20th anniversary of her death, it has been revealed that popular recording artist Selena Quintanilla-Perez’s (known to most solely by her first name) estate is suing UMG Recordings, Selena’s record label, for digital royalties that have yet to be paid out. Over the course of her career and after her death, Selena and her label have released five studio albums, three live albums, and more than twenty compilation albums to honor her memory. The estate claims that in 1993, Selena and her family entered an agreement that promised to share 50 percent of the label’s profit from the licensing or sale of her music to online streaming services with her family.

Although they were under the impression that they were being fairly paid by UMG Recordings, the estate claims to have found a receipt from 2009 that reveals they were “grossly underpaid.” Although news is just leaking out in regards to the lawsuit, it went into motion on March 31st, exactly twenty years from the day that Selena was murdered. UMG Recordings has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

In her life, Selena was a prolific recording artist, writer, actress, and fashion designer who emerged on the scene with her debut album in the late 1980s with the release of her self-titled debut album in 1989.  Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Selena sang Tejano music, a form of Mexican-American folk-inspired pop music, and she became known to many as the “Queen of Tejano” for her efforts to popularize the genre. Selena became the first female Tejano artist to earn gold status (symbolizing sales of more than 500,000 albums) with her 1990 effort Ven Conmigo.

At the height of her career, Selena was referred to as the Mexican-American Madonna regarding her fashion choices and determined nature. The artist went on to become a spokesperson and activist for women’s rights. Selena was murdered in her hometown on March 31, 1995 at the hands of Yolanda Saldivar, who was the former president of the artist’s fan club. Following her death, UMG recordings released her first crossover album, Dreaming of You, which topped the Billboard 200 albums chart and cemented her legacy as a recording artist.

In the days leading up to the twentieth anniversary of her death, many celebrities in the music community commented on the effect that Selena had on their careers. Most notable of the collection was Jennifer Lopez, who played the role of Selena in a 1997 film that traced the artist’s life. This was Lopez’s breakout role, and she gained an incredible respect for the artist who “moved the world in a different way,” according to Lopez. Although the world is still reeling from the loss of Selena, her legacy lives on in the form of her musical endeavors and her family.

FDRMX Eyes: From the United Kingdom comes singer-songwriter James Paterson. The pop musician has released a music video for his song, “Read Between the Lines.”

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