Chris Perez reflects on his life with, without Selena, and her legacy

‘I learned a lot from her and I continue to learn a lot,’ Perez said.

SAN ANTONIO – In the past 25 years, Chris Perez says he has grown a lot.

“I’m constantly learning and I’m happy,” Perez, the widower of Queen of Tejano music Selena Quintanilla Perez, said in an interview with KSAT.

‘Siempre Selena: A KSAT 12 News Special’ to air on April 12

Twenty-five years ago, Selena’s career was skyrocketing before her life was tragically and infamously cut short on March 31, 1995, when she was fatally shot.

While the Tejano music world grieved her death, the loss hit Perez even harder because two days later, April 2, would have been Chris and Selena’s third wedding anniversary.

“I thought I was done, that was it,” Perez said.

Since then, he has found his voice and learned to celebrate his wife’s legacy.

“The energy and her presence is felt a lot more that time of year and now her legacy and the things that people tell me and what she means to them, it’s a good thing,” Perez said.

He said he’s amazed — but not surprised — how Selena’s legacy has grown 25 years later.

“It just keeps getting bigger and bigger and I think its an amazing thing and I’m proud to be attached to it in the way that I am,” Perez said. “She had a lot of gratitude towards everybody that supported us, supported her and I think it came across and people feel the energy now.”

WATCH: Extended interview created specifically for the KSAT TV streaming app available on Apple TV, Roku, Fire stick and some smart TVs.

Over the past several months, Perez has been busy creating a new line of hot sauce and this month he released new music with “The Chris Perez Band.”

25 reasons why Selena is the most celebrated Mexican-American artist

When he’s not in the studio or winning golden chili awards for his hot sauce, he spends his time with his 21-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son.

“I love being there for my kids,” Perez said.

In regards to his future, there is no slowing down.

“I want to keep going, keep pushing forward, you know I got this far,” Perez said.

This year a tribute concert will be held at the Alamodome honoring Selena. Originally scheduled for May, the concert has been postponed amid the pandemic.

While Perez was not at the announcement for the concert, he says he would love to be a part of it.

“I did get invited to be a part of the event,” Perez said. “I’d love to be there and see everybody, there’s a lot of love there between all of us and I’d love to see all the guys in the band too. I was kind of hoping we’d be able to play together, but we’ll see.”

And to Selena’s fans who continue to keep her legacy alive, Perez said: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means so much and I want to stay on this ride with everybody.”

Find more of our Selena coverage here.

About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Recommended Videos