Chris Perez is the love interest and later husband of the late famous Spanish singer, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez who was killed by Yolanda Saldívar for embezzling money.
This is based on a true story and Jon Seda played him in Selena (film)
Chris Pérez was born on August 14, 1969 in San Antonio, Texas to Gilbert Pérez, a computer programmed and Carmen Medina. He is of Mexican American ancestry. Perez's parents divorced in 1974, when he was four years old. His mother remarried in 1978.
Chris Perez learned to play the French horn in middle school and joined his school's concert band with his mother's support.
He decided to teach himself to play electric guitar despite his mother's disapproval due to the negative stereotypes associated with the rock-and-roll world.
Chris Perez wanted to run away to Los Angeles, California to start a rock band when he was seventeen. At the time he shared an apartment with his father and worked at a library.
Pérez was asked by Tony Lares to join his cousin Shelly Lares' band in 1986. Tony Lares told Pérez that Shelly performed Tejano music—a mixture of traditional Mexican folk music, polkas and country music sung in Spanish or English.
Chris disliked Tejano music and wrote in To Selena, With Love that he joined Shelly's band with "foot-dragging resistance" because this job paid more than working at the library.
He became Shelly's musical director after Tony left the group and co-wrote three songs for Shelly's debut album in 1998. His guitar playing received a positive reception from the band and its fans.
Around this time he also formed a rock band with two friends and planned to leave Shelly's band.
Roger Garcia, lead guitarist for Selena y Los Dinos, married and left the music business in 1989. The group's bassist, A.B. Quintanilla III, had heard good things about Pérez from other Tejano groups.
He and other band members went to watch Chris rehearse with Shelly. Quintanilla invited Chris to one of Selena's performances and asked if he was interested in playing with Selena y Los Dinos. Chris accepted.
His decision was based on Los Dinos's sound, which was more "hip and sophisticated" than other Tejano bands, and he hoped to learn more about musical arrangement from A.B., whose work he admired).
Chris auditioned for the group's manager, A.B.'s father Abraham Quintanilla, Jr. Abraham Sr. initially disliked Chris' rocker image and insisted that he change his appearance for the band.
The elder Quintanilla feared that allowing Pérez in the group might affect his daughter Selena's "perfect image" and ruin her career. A.B. Jr. convinced his father to accept Pérez and encouraged Chris to explore different musical genres and mold their sounds to his own tastes.
He and A.B became close friends occasionally collaborated on writing songs for Selena's next recording. Chris, like Selena, knew little Spanish and lead keyboardist Ricky Vela tutored him.
In 1991, Chris was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding in San Antonio, Texas. A police officer became involved in an altercation with his cousin, and Chris came to his cousin's aid.
After the brawl, police handcuffed Chris and his cousin but freed their friend, telling him to "run, don't walk" and to "not even turn around". When Chris was booked, police reported that they initiated a high-speed chase and were following his car.
Chris Perez reported that the officers were lying, but decided not to pursue the matter because it would be "[his] word against theirs."
He was released without charges, but told Selena and Abraham about his run-in with the police. They appreciated being informed and this helped gain their trust.
Several months after his arrest, he was sharing a hotel room with two road crew members of Selena y Los Dinos when the two brothers (who were intoxicated), began wrestling. Chris was also drunk and joined in the rough horseplay.
One brother knocked the door off its hinges, and holes in the wall were found inside the room. Chris decided to sleep at home instead of at the hotel. Abraham Sr. fired the brothers from the band the next morning, but accepted Chris' apology and gave him another chance.
Relationship with SelenaEdit
In 1989 Chris and A.B. wrote Selena's Coca-Cola commercial jingle. After the company accepted the lyrics and Selena filmed the commercial, A.B. treated the band to a vacation in Acapulco, Mexico.
During the trip, Chris realized that he was attracted to Selena although he had a girlfriend in San Antonio. Chris thought it best for both of them if he tried to distance himself from her, but found it difficult and decided to try building a relationship with her.
They expressed their feelings for each other at a Pizza Hut restaurant, and shortly afterwards became a couple. They hid their relationship from her father out of fear that Abraham would try to break them up. This stressed Selena, who did not want to hide her feelings.
The band's drummer, Selena's sister Suzette Quintanilla, found them flirting with each other. Suzette reported this to Abraham, who took Chris off the bus and informed him that the relationship was over.
The couple continued their relationship secretly despite Abraham's disapproval.
Selena took hope from the fact that her mother Marcella approved of their courtship, until one day when Abraham stopped the tour bus and went to the back where Chris and Selena were sitting.
He shouted that their relationship was over and Selena screamed back at him. Chris tried to calm them both down, but joined in the argument after Abraham insulted him by calling him a "cancer in my family."
Finally, Abraham threatened to disband the group if they didn't break up.
Intimidated, Selena and Chris backed off. Abraham fired him from the band and prevented Selena from running off with him.
After he was fired from the band, he moved back in with his father and began playing music wherever he could. He wrote that "free of that nerve-racking situation with her father and the other members of Los Dinos, I started enjoying my life again."
Selena, however, suffered from their separation and the two tried to keep in touch while she was touring.
On the morning of April 2, 1992, Selena pounded on his hotel-room door. She forced her way in and began to cry, saying she could not go on without him.
Selena wanted to get married that day, but Chris argued that it wasn't the right thing to do at the moment. Selena insisted her father would never accept their relationship, and would not attend any wedding they planned.
Chris agreed and they eloped in Nueces County, Texas. Selena was sure her father would leave them alone if they were married, and they could be together openly.
They planned to keep the elopement a secret until she found the right moment to reveal her marriage, but the media announced their elopement over the radio within hours of the marriage ceremony.
Selena's family tried to track her down. Abraham did not take the news well, and alienated himself for a time.
Selena and Pérez moved into an apartment in Corpus Christi until Abraham approached them, apologized, accepted the marriage and Chris back into the band.
Chris became a fully accepted member of the Quintanilla family after the marriage, and Abraham Sr. asked Chris to write songs for a rock band he was managing after he opened a recording studio, Q-Productions, in late 1993.
That collaboration resulted in a posthumous recording for Selena when the lead vocalist for that rock group, Nando "Guerro" Dominguez, went to Selena's house to begin a recording.
Chris was ending the recording session several hours later when Selena asked to record Dominguez' demo. Her version of the song was unreleased until 2004, when it was added to her posthumous compilation album Momentos Intimos as "Puede Ser".
A.B. wrote "Ya No", the last recording for Selena's studio album Amor Prohibido (1994). He wanted to turn it into a rock song and asked for Pérez' assistance.
In spring 1995 Pérez's father-in-law, Abraham found out Yolanda Saldívar, who managed Selena's boutiques and fan club, was embezzling money.
They held a meeting in early March, with Saldivar denying she had anything to do with fiscal discrepancies in checks that were found written in her name. Selena tried to repair her friendship with Saldivar despite her father's warnings.
On March 30, 1995, Selena and Chris met with Saldivar at a motel to recover missing financial papers for tax purposes. When Selena arrived home, she found that Saldivar did not give her the correct documents.
She phoned Saldivar who tried to convince Selena to return to her motel room alone. Chris insisted that it was too late and he did not want Selena driving alone at night. Selena then agreed to meet with Saldivar the next morning.
On March 31, she met with Saldivar, who delayed the transfer of papers with a story about having been raped in Mexico. Selena took Saldivar to a local hospital, where doctors found no evidence of rape.
When they returned to the motel room, Selena ended their four-year working relationship. As she turned to leave, Saldivar reached into her handbag, pulled out a Taurus Model 85 .38 caliber revolver, pointed it at Selena and pulled the trigger.
The bullet pierced Selena's aorta. She ran to the motel lobby and as she collapsed named Saldivar as her assailant. Selena was transferred to a nearby hospital where doctors found the damage irreparable. She was pronounced dead within the hour. ,Chris couldn't eat for two days after his wife's murder. In his book he says that when he could not sleep he began abusing alcohol and other drugs and went into seclusion. Family members noticed he was rapidly losing weight. Chris felt guilty for not protecting Selena from Saldivar.
In 1996, he moved out of his Corpus Christi house and back in with his father in San Antonio. John Garza introduced him to Venessa Villanueva, and after getting to know each other they became a couple in 1998.
In 2001, Chris married Villanueva and they had two children, a boy and a girl.
Although it was rumored that Villanueva did not want to divorce, and wanted to try and work things out in their relationship, the couple finally decided their relationship was irreconcilable. They filed for divorce in 2008.