One of the strengths of internet giant Google with the online community is the amount of engagement the company has with them. This sense of closeness that they have with their user base is visible in their Google Doodles, temporary alterations to their search engine logo to celebrate holidays, special occasions and historical events. Starting with a Burning Man reference in August 1998, these doodles grew in detail and complexity, even becoming animated or interactive presentations since 2010. Subjects ranged from Halloween to the 30th anniversary of the videogame “Pac-Man.” This week, Google has decided to commemorate the 1989 release of the first album by iconic Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, who performed using the single name Selena.

The result is their most touching tribute yet.

Whimsical remembrance

On Tuesday, October 17, Google altered their search engine website with their latest Google Doodle, a 91-second animated video showcasing Selena, who released her first and self-titled Spanish-language album in 1989. However, the background music for the doodle is from one of her trademark signature songs, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” which was from the 1994 album “Amor Prohibido.” The animation is a whimsical look at Selena’s start as a music performer from childhood, eventually becoming one of the pillars of Tejano music.

The sequence starts with the Google logo (modified with Selena’s face) transitioning into a cassette player blasting out “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” with a grown-up Selena in her purple concert outfit belting out the lyrics.

It then shifts to Selena as a little girl, singing on her bed and interrupting her siblings at points. Her talent is noticed by her father, Abraham Quintanilla, who develops his children into a kiddie Latino music band, Selena y Los Dinos. The band grows as Selena does, eventually going on tour and performing hit sold-out concerts.

The sequence reverts to Selena in purple repeating the initial vocalization of the song, before reverting back into the stylized Google logo.

Inspirational figure

Google Doodle recipient Selena Quintanilla-Perez is counted as one of the most influential Latin artists of all time for helping the genre become as mainstream as it is today.

She made history in 1993 by becoming the first woman to win the “Best Mexican/American Album” Grammy Award, strengthening the position of female performers in the Latino scene. Selena was tragically murdered by her fan club president in 1995 at the age of 23. While her family and husband Chris Perez have tried to keep her memory alive, they have also been mired in controversy recently.

The tribute for Selena was led by Google Doodle Global Marketing Lead Perla Campos, herself a Tejano born of Mexican immigrants. Campos was inspired by the singer to take pride in her cultural identity, and to work hard and focus on her job at Google. "It’s incredible that Selena’s legacy grows even larger with time," she notes. The Selena Doodle is available for viewing on the Google website in the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, parts of South America and India.