(NEXSTAR) — Real legends never die — and in Texas (and beyond), the legacy of Tejano music superstar Selena Quintanilla goes on. Sunday, April 16 would have been the singer’s 52nd birthday.

Selena’s groundbreaking career was cut short early after she was murdered in a Corpus Christi motel on March 31, 1995, by her friend and the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar. At the time of her death, Selena was already widely considered “The Queen of Tejano Music” and the “Mexican Madonna” among the Latin community. She was also preparing a major crossover album, “Dreaming of You,” which was released four months after her death.

The murder was international news and catapulted Selena’s name and music to even wider audiences.

A feature film, titled “Selena,” was released in 1997 — grossing over $35 million and launching a then relatively unknown Jennifer Lopez to stardom.

Selena, known for chart-topping hits like “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “Como La Flor,” and “I Could Fall in Love” has continued to influence artists of all generations, including contemporary artists like Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Drake.

As time goes on, though, how are much younger people thinking of Selena? Are they thinking about her at all? A trip to social media helps reveal that all these years later, “La Leyenda” still reigns as a major influencer.

‘Selena aesthetic’

On TikTok, there’s “SelenaTok” — a section of TikTok generally dedicated to two stars: either Selena Gomez (who is canonically named after Selena Quintanilla) or Selena Quintanilla. Videos pertaining to the latter typically range from users dancing to her music, “pretending to understand the lyrics” or visually paying tribute to the late legend.

One particular TikToker, @viohletta, has garnered over one million followers and 23 million likes through her various makeup and fashion tutorials, a great many of which are dedicated to replicating Selena’s style.

“I enjoy all things beauty and I started out by replicating makeup looks of Latinas such as Victoria Ruffo, Yma Sumac, and Becky G. When I uploaded a Selena-inspired makeup, I received many comments and emails from parents that were excited their children were becoming more in-touch with their Latin culture through TikTok,” Violetta Venegas told Nexstar. “I thought there was something special about that.”

Sammi Corono-Lampa, 4, of Moreno Valley, Calif., a fan of the late singer Selena Quintanilla, sings as she waits with her mother Patty, left, and her grandmother, Teresa, for a posthumous star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Selena’s style impact can be seen in retail, too.

Last month, Forever 21 released its F21 x Selena capsule collection, which featured several T-shirts and tops showcasing the singer. The limited-release collection — created in collaboration with Selena’s family — is still available in several unisex styles at prices ranging from $18 to $40. F21 x Selena is also not Forever 21’s first tribute collaboration, as the popular White Rose collection was released back in 2019.

“Selena Quintanilla understood branding and business,” Venegas says. “Her iconic red lipstick with black eyeliner are and have been a staple in all Latina’s cosmetic bags. She understood that and became relatable to the audience.”

Discovering her music

Back in 2021, after the second and final season of Netflix’s “Selena: The Series” aired, one particular song in Selena’s catalog became particularly popular on TikTok — the heart-wrenching ballad “No Me Queda Más.” The social platform was inundated with videos regarding the song’s emotionality, with users reacting to the song after learning the real-life unrequited love that inspired “No Me Queda Más.”

Only 10 months ago, the popular YouTube duo TwinsthenewTrend — who have forged a massive 888,000+ subscriber viewership by releasing first reactions to older music — released their first time hearing Selena’s “Dreaming of You.” The twin brothers, Tim and Fred Williams, were born in 1998 — three years after Quintanilla’s death.

“I could play this one at like 4, 5 in the morning just chilling in the car,” Fred Williams explains in the video. “I’d play this song.”

Just last year at this time, international music superstar Karol G, who is wildly popular among both Gen Z and millennials, performed Selena’s hit “Como La Flor” during her “Bichota Tour.” The Colombian singer has previously covered the artist many other times. Meanwhile, Kali Uchis, a Colombian-American superstar popular with younger audiences, has also covered the singer many times — and even landed in the annals of VOGUE for a Selena-inspired performance outfit.

It isn’t only Latino audiences adoring Selena.

Black TikTok creator Princess Young, who has over 57,000 followers and over 1 million likes, posted a now-viral video last March jokingly explaining that she was “waiting” for Saldivar to be released from prison in 2025.

“Black Selena fans unite,” one commenter replied. “That’s our Queen for real!” the creator responded.

Solidarity over losing her

Missing Selena and the music she didn’t get to make is another trend that can be seen among TikTokers. Despite her wealth of talent while she was alive, Selena’s unmet potential places her among other gone-too-soon music icons like R&B star Aaliyah and pop-soul singer Amy Winehouse.

“Twenty-six years and I’m still not over her death,” writes TikTok star Ivan Antonio Chacon, who is only 23 years old. The video earned over 356,000 likes and thousands of comments by users lamenting Quintanilla.

One user writes, “The fact that I love her and have cried over and she died before I was even born.” Someone else replies, “I fell in love with her after she died and it hurts my soul.”

Though she’s now been gone longer than she was alive, the beauty Selena created in her 23 years continues to go on and on. Happy birthday, Queen!