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Jennifer Lopez Reflects on Selena's Life & Death as the 20th Anniversary of her Murder Nears

by Kimberley Richards   Mar 27, 2015 16:43 PM EDT

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Selena is still one of the most beloved artists. The Latina singer was shot and killed at age 23 on March 31,1995 by the former president of her fan club. Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, who played Selena in the biopic, Selena, recently shared her thoughts on the late singer, saying "she was gone too soon" in light of the upcoming 20-year anniversary of her death.

According to Billboard, Selena landed five No. 1 singles on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart and a Billboard 200 No.1 for Dreaming of You, her fifth studio album. This was a first for a Latin woman.

Just days away from the anniversary of her death, Lopez shared her admiration for the late singer in an interview with Billboard. Lopez believes that Selena's "grace" still connects with people today.

"The grace with which she handled the business, the grace with which she handled her life, the humor. Her spirit of loving what she did. Her sense of family. That's the tragedy of everything that ­happened and why she left such an imprint-because she was gone way too soon," Lopez said.

The "Feel the Light" singer shared a personal moment while filming Selena, when she internalized how important depicting Selena in the biopic would be.

"Right after I got the part, I knew I would be ­traveling to Corpus Christi and spending time with her ­family, but that wasn't going to be for a few weeks, so they sent me tons of tapes to watch. I sat on my couch watching them for days and all of a sudden, the tape cut off on me. I was shocked," Lopez told Billboard. "And I thought to myself, 'That's what happened'. This amazing, beautiful spirit, full of joy and music and so much feeling, was just cut off in the middle of being. It affected me so much and made me realize the importance of what I was doing."

Selena, the movie, was released on March 21, 1997 (via IMDB). March 31st will mark 20 years since the world lost Selena.

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