Amor Prohibido (English: Forbidden Love) is the fourth studio album by American singer Selena, released on March 13, 1994, by EMI Latin. Having reached a core fan base, the label aimed to broaden her appeal with the next
studio release. Finding it challenging to write a follow-up hit after "Como la Flor" (1992), Selena's brother A. B. Quintanilla enlisted the assistance from band members Ricky Vela and Pete Astudillo with writing the album's songs. The resulting album has a more mature sound featuring experimental production that blends diverse musical styles from ranchera to hip-hop music. Amor Prohibido is a Tejano cumbia album modernized with a synthesizer-rich delivery using a minimalist style that was quintessential in early 1990s Tejano music.
The album's songs deal with dysfunctional and volatile relationships; its lyrics explore unrequited love, cheating partners, and social division. With relatively few love songs, Amor Prohibido narrates a woman's struggles and triumphs following unsuccessful relationships with men who struggle with commitment. The album continued the singer's streak of number one singles on the United States Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart with the title track "Amor Prohibido"— which became the most successful US Latin single of 1994, a feat she repeated the following year with "No Me Queda Más". Along with the latter, "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" and "Fotos y Recuerdos" also topped the US Latin chart, and together with "Si Una Vez" are regarded as Selena's signature recordings.
When the album tour broke attendance records at the Houston Astrodome and attracted a record-breaking crowd at Miami's Calle Ocho Festival, Selena became recognized as one of the biggest US Latin touring acts at that time. Amor Prohibido became the first Tejano record to peak at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, remaining in the top five for 98 consecutive weeks. The album holds the record for most weeks at number one on Billboard's Regional Mexican Albums chart at 97 nonconsecutive weeks, as well as crowning the chart in four different calendar years. Amor Prohibido received critical acclaim, it is considered to be Selena's best work and her band's "crowning achievement". The album's sound received the highest acclaim, it was noted by critics to have retained its innovative spirit well into the 21st century. Amor Prohibido is credited with catapulting Tejano music into mainstream success resulting in sales to listeners previously unfamiliar with the genre. Amor Prohibido was nominated for Best Mexican-American Album at the 36th Grammy Awards. The record took Album of the Year honors at the 1995 TMA's and the Lo Nuestro Award for Best Regional Mexican Album.
In March 1995, Selena was murdered by her friend and former manager of her Selena Etc. boutiques. The record re-entered the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at number 29 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Within three weeks, it was certified platinum, and was re-certified by the RIAA as 36× platinum (Latin), denoting 2.14 million album-equivalent units sold. Amor Prohibido is the second-highest certified Latin album in the United States trailing only her posthumous album Dreaming of You (1995), the fourth best-selling Latin album in the US, the best-selling Tejano recording of the 1990s, and remains the best-selling Tejano recording of all time. Amor Prohibido has been ranked among the most essential Latin recordings of the past 50 years by Billboard magazine. NPR ranked the album number 19 on their list of the 150 greatest albums made by women; it was the highest-ranking album by a female Latin artist, and ninth highest-ranking recording by a woman of color.