Selena Quintanilla's voice is iconic, so when it came time to make a Netflix series about her life, it made sense to showcase the singer's own vocals. As a result, Christian Serratos isn't really singing in Selena: The Series, which premiered on Dec. 4.
The decision to use Selena's voice was made in part by the show's executive producers, who consulted Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., her sister, Suzette Quintanilla, and their family attorney, Simran A. Singh. Having people who knew Selena working on the series ensured that her music would get its due. As one fan pointed out on Suzette's Instagram, it just wouldn't be the same to hear Selena's songs without her iconic vocals. "It's alllll Selena original jam," Suzette reassured the fan.
Serratos also confirmed as much to TV Insider this month, saying, "I do sing a cappella in the show, but [for the most part, it's] Selena's voice." In a separate December interview with Manny The Movie Guy, the actor added that the performance scenes used Selena's voice, but she did chime in when the lyrics were part of the dialogue. When the character first practiced "Dame Un Beso" and "My Love," Serratos was able to show a little bit more of her talent.
The same creative decision was made for the 1997 Selena movie that starred Jennifer Lopez. At the time, J. Lo didn't consider herself a singer as much as she did a dancer. For that reason, she lip-synced to Selena's own music for her performance scenes.
Using Selena's voice in a movie or show about her life honors the singer and her legacy in a way that casting an artist to recreate her vocals simply couldn't. When fans tune into Netflix's show, they'll hear Selena throughout the whole soundtrack. Just the way it should be.