Chris Pérez Biography

Christopher Gilbert Pérez is a popular American musician, songwriter, author and guitarist. This biography profiles his childhood, family, personal life, music career, achievements and other facts.

Chris Pérez
Quick Facts

Birthday: August 14, 1969

Nationality: American

Famous: Guitarists Lyricists & Songwriters

Age: 50 Years, 50 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Leo

Born in: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Famous as: Guitarist


Spouse/Ex-: Selena (m. 1992–1995), Venessa Villanueva (m. 2001–2008)

father: Gilbert Pérez

mother: Carmen Medina

children: Cassie Pérez, Noah Pérez

City: San Antonio, Texas

U.S. State: Texas

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Christopher Gilbert Pérez is a popular American musician, songwriter, author and guitarist. He was the lead guitarist for the band ‘Selena y Los Dinos’. Chris is also famous for his performance in television movie ‘Selena ivive!’ 2005 and a short documentary on the murder of his wife, Selena Quintanilla-Perez titled ‘Making of Selena: 10 years later’ (2007) and also for a television documentary movie ‘iMi Gente! My People’ (1999). He first became a member of Shelly Lares’ band in 1986 and became famous due to his amazing guitar skills. He caught the attention of A. B. Quintanilla who was at that time searching for a new lead guitarist for the Tejano band ‘Selena y Los Dinos’. Perez joined the band in 1988 and he continued to perform with them till 1995. Perez has made his mark in the field of music and is considered one of the ace guitarists of his time. He has also won 2000 Grammy Awards for ‘Best Latin/ Alternative Performance’ category.

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Chris Pérez
Childhood & Early Life
  • Christopher Gilbert Perez was born on 14th August, 1969 in San Antonio, Texas, to Gilbert Perez and Carmen Medina. His father was a computer programmer. Chris is of Mexican-American ancestry. When he was of 4 years, his parents divorced and his mother remarried in 1978.
  • His mother fully supported him as he learned to play the musical instrument ‘French Horn’ during his middle school and she also allowed him to be a member of the school’s concert. At that time the society had a bad impression of the rock and roll music, hence his mother opposed his decision to learn electric guitar. However, he was so passionate about it that that he learned and started to play the electric guitar against his mother’s disapproval.
  • During that time he was a fan of Motley Crue, Van Halen, Def Leppard, the Scorpions, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden and had started to admire Ricky Martin. Many of his guitar solos are inspired from Carlos Santana.
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Early Career
  • In order to build his career Chris ran off from his house at the age of 17 years. He shared his father’s apartment and started to work in a library. After a while Chris was asked by Tony Lares to join his cousin’s Shelly Lares’ band in 1986. Although Chris was not interested in Shelly’s Tejano music (a mixture of traditional Mexican folk music, polkas and country music sung in English or Spanish) yet he joined the band as it paid him better than his library work. He thus, started to play for bar-room group.
  • As Tony later left the band, Chris became the musical director of the band and also co-wrote three songs for Shelly’s debut album in 1998. His guitar skills were loved and admired by his fans as well as the band members.
  • Chris was next approached by bassist A. B. Quintanilla III of the Selena y Los Dinos band to join them. He quite willingly joined the band in 1989 because the sound used by Los Dinos was more ‘sophisticated and hip’. The band released many popular albums like ‘Entre a Mi Mundo’ (1992),‘Amor Prohibido’ (1994), ‘Dreaming of You’ (1995) to name a few.
  • Later, he also performed as lead guitarist in Kumbia Kings (2003- 2006) and A. B. Quintanilla (2001-2008).
Later Career
  • In 2008, Chris formed a band ‘Chris Perez Band’ with Garza, Rudy Martinez, Joe Odeja and Jesse Esquivel. The band was signed to Hollywood Records and their debut album ‘Ressurrection’ was recorded at Henson studio. The songs included ‘Best I Can’, ‘Another Day’ and ‘Solo Tu’ and the album was released on 18th May, 1999. It went on to win the 2000 Grammy Award for ‘Best Latin, Rock, Urban or Alternative’ album. However, the band disbanded after releasing their second album ‘Una Nocha Mas’ in 2002.
  • In 2010, Chris collaborated with Puertorican Singer Angel Ferrer, as the lead singer to form a band called the ‘Chris Perez Project’ and released an album titled ‘Todo es Diferente’. Next, he went to publish his book ‘To Selena With Love’ in 2012.
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  • In 1992, police arrested Chris for driving under influence and speeding along with cousins and friends. At that moment the police had a verbal fight with his cousin and Chris came to his aid. After the fight the police let go of his friends but handcuffed Chris and his cousin. However, the police had to set them free as they could not prove that they were involved in a high-speed chase.
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  • Some months after his arrest Chris with two of the band members booked a room in a hotel. They got so intoxicated that they started wrestling and even Chris joined them. Later, Chris left the room in a disheveled state and totally damaged. For such action Chris and the two band members were fired from the Selena y Los Dinos band and Quintanilla forbade Selena from seeing Chris.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Chris and Selena started dating during a trip to Mexico and they expressed their love for each other at a Pizza Hut restaurant and became a couple. Selena’s father was against this relationship although Selena’s mother approved their courtship. Later, Quentilla Jr. fired Chris from the band. But Selena could not take the pain anymore and they eloped to Nueces County, Texas, and got married secretly in 1992. Selena’s father, who was earlier against their relationship, later accepted them after their marriage.
  • In an unfortunate incident Selena was murdered by her own boutique employee named Yolanda Saldivar. Yolanda tried to commit suicide but later the police caught her and she was later sentenced to life time imprisonment.
  • As Selena was an amazing singer and given blockbuster albums, the former President George W. Bush at that time announced Selena’s birthday as Selena Day in Texas.
  • For several years Chris did not have any relationship and remained a widower but he met Venessa Villanueva in 1998 and they both fell in love instantly and started seeing each other. Later, they got married in 2001 and were blessed with two children, daughter, Cassie and son, Noah. Chris posted many cute pictures of his children in social media.
  • However, this relationship also did not last long and in 2008 the couple separated. Chris’ severe drinking problem and drug use was cited as the reason for divorce. After the separation, Chris had to give up all his assets to Vanessa as spousal alimony.
Net Worth
  • As of 2017, Chris Perez estimated net-worth is around $13 million.
  • After finishing his book on Selena, he came out from his mourning and in December published a limited edition EP titled ‘Chris Perej Project’ through his website. He also went on to record a full-length album which was produced by Emilio at the Almadome.
  • Chris has performed at the Festival People En Espanol featuring Demi Lovato, 3BallMTY, Wisin & Yandel and several others.
  • His genre of music is rock, Latin rock, cumbia, Tejano and heavy metal.

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- Chris Pérez Biography
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Last Updated
- August 22, 2017

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