In Selena: The Series, the new two-part Netflix show all about the life and career of Selena Quintanilla, the late singer's family is given much more screen time than they were in the last biopic they signed off on, 1997's Selena, which starred J.Lo in the lead role. This time around, the thesis of the project seems to be that yes, Selena was a massive star in her own right, but she wouldn't have become the "Queen of Tejano music" without the help and support of her parents and siblings, who were responsible for discovering her talent, encouraging it with the creation of the Selena y Los Dinos family band, and, even after Selena went solo, continuing on as her bandmates, number-one cheerleaders, and, in the case of Abraham Quintanilla, her dad-ager.
A core member of this tight-knit family unit was A.B. Quintanilla, Selena's older brother, who not only played bass in his sister's band, but also went on to co-write and produce some of her biggest hits. And though their other sister, Suzette, quit her music career and dedicated her life to preserving Selena's memory after the singer's tragic 1995 death, A.B. has continued to work as a musician and producer, scooping up dozens of prestigious nominations and awards along the way. Here's everything you need to know about A.B., his family, and his hugely successful career.
Where is A.B. Quintanilla now?
A.B.—short for Abraham Quintanilla III—is still a musician. After racking up major industry cred as co-writer, producer, and bassist on some of Selena's biggest singles, including "Como la Flor" and "Amor Prohibido," and as the producer of her Grammy-winning Live! album, he has spent the decades since her death forming and performing with multiple cumbia-pop groups. A.B. has also collaborated with many other artists, working as a producer for Mexican musicians such as Thalía, Alicia Villarreal and Cristian Castro.
He created the Kumbia Kings in 1999, then, after a fallout with a bandmate, formed the Kumbia All Starz in 2006; both groups also included his late sister's husband Chris Pérez. Most recently, in 2016, A.B. created Elektro Kumbia, which released a debut single, "Piña Colada Shot," in 2017.
Throughout this extensive career, A.B.'s work has been consistently praised by fans and critics, garnering eight Latin Grammy nominations (with one win) and eight Latin Billboard Music Award nods, resulting in four wins.
Is A.B. still married?
Selena: The Series shows A.B., played by Gabriel Chavarria, meeting, marrying, and becoming a parent with Evangelina Almeida, who goes by Vangie and is portrayed in the show by Gladys Bautista. Though the pair did really marry in 1988, their two sons didn't arrive until 1991 and 2000, in a slight change from what's shown onscreen. A.B. and Vangie divorced in 2000.
A.B., now 56, has since been married four more times. He wed Heather Grein in 2002, and had two more sons with the actress during their two-year marriage, as seen in photos Grein has shared on Instagram of her ex-husband and their children. In 2004, Hola reported that A.B. had tied the knot with Brenda Ramirez; by 2008, according to a spread in People en Español, he had welcomed two more sons and two daughters, with the magazine noting that all children were from "past relationships," implying that his marriage with Ramirez had ended by then. From 2011 to 2016, A.B. was married to Rikkie Leigh Robinson, a model, and in September 2019, he wed Anjelah Orellano.
On Sept. 16 this year, A.B. posted a tribute to his wife on their one-year anniversary. "You changed my world to a beautiful place!!! Te amo mucho baby!!!" he wrote.
According to his Instagram feed, Selena's brother has been excitedly tracking the worldwide success of the biopic, for which his father and sister Suzette served as executive producers, and which has consistently topped the Netflix charts in multiple countries since its Dec. 4 release.
He also noted in an interview earlier this year that the series would give a much more honest look at the Quintanilla family's humble beginnings than the 1997 film did. "This series, it's going way back in time—I'm talking, to where I slept on the floor for a year," he said, explaining that, for a while, his family shared a one-bedroom, one-bathroom space with 13 people.
He continued, "There were a lot of hard knocks. In the Selena movie, it was like, 'Hey, we're number one!' It didn't happen like that. That's not reality."
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Andrea Park is a Chicago-based writer and reporter with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the extended Kardashian-Jenner kingdom, early 2000s rom-coms and celebrity book club selections. She graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2017 and has also written for W, Brides, Glamour, Women's Health, People and more.
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