Tejano is a modernized, hybrid Latin style strongly rooted in the conjunto and norteño music popular in the region near the U.S./Mexico border, although it isn't quite the same thing. It was developed by working-class Mexican-Americans living in Texas -- hence the name, which is the Spanish word for "Texan" and became the accepted term for the music in the early '80s. Bandleader Beto Villa was a pivotal figure in the music's birth, adding instrumentation and song structures (i.e. ranchera, cumbia, polka, etc.) from conjunto/norteño music to his orchestra, which drew upon a regional synthesis of Mexican folk music and big-band swing. The most important contributor, though, was Isidro López, who added vocals, mariachi style, and early rock & roll rhythms while aggressively playing up his conjunto influences. The result was a combination of rural folk and urban sophistication that appealed mightily to young Mexican-Americans in search of a music to call their own, just as rock and R&B were taking over other youth markets during the mid-'50s. During the early '60s, the tejano ensemble shrank from a large orchestra to a medium-sized group more reliant on electric instruments, although horn sections and accordions remained important parts of the music. Many of these groups played English-language Top 40 rock & roll covers in addition to their Spanish repertoire. In the early '70s, tejano music (then known as la onda chicana) really came into its own, borrowing freely from other musical traditions present in Texas -- blues, country, R&B, pop, rock, jazz -- and blending them with Mexican folk as it saw fit. The most important artist of this period was Little Joe (aka José María DeLeón Hernández) Y La Familia, whose music reflected the emerging political consciousness of disillusioned Chicano youth. During the mid-'70s, tejano lost much of its audience to more traditional Mexican music, but staged a comeback in the mid-'80s thanks to a new infusion of mainstream musical hybrids, as well as major-label interest in the growing Latino market. Bands like Mazz and La Mafia expanded their stage shows to reflect the glitz and excitement of English-language performers, and Selena's pop sensibilities helped make her a superstar in the Latin community. The early '90s saw the greatest creative fertility and diversity of tejano music to date, but just as those qualities were beginning to wane, Selena was murdered in 1995, touching off a mass media explosion that brought tejano to the top of the album charts with her posthumous smash Dreaming of You. When the Selena phenomenon leveled off, revitalized norteño had once again captured much of the Mexican-American audience heading into the next millennium.