Celia Cruz – The Queen of Salsa music

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Celia Cruz was a Cuban- American singer, born in Havana, on October 21, 1925. She started her career with the orchestra Sonora Matancera in 1950. She will remain in the history music as the most popular salsa singer, recording 23 gold records.

In 1959, she was already started touring with the orchestra, where she was the lead vocal. That was the time when the members of the orchestra decided to move in the United States and thus, Celia became an US citizen. Cruz had been unknown for a long time, until the mid 60’s, when she joined Tito Puente Orchestra. In 1973 she gave a new face to the rock opera Tommy, by singing in the Latin opera entitled Hommy. She became not only famous, but her dressing style drew the attention of the Smithsonian Institution, which acquired one of her coloured costumes.


Later on, Celia Cruz became the subject of a BBC documentary – My name is Celia.  After the 90’s, Celia added couple of movies to her acting career:  The Mambo Kings (1992), where she played with Anthonio Banderas and Armand Assante and The Perez Family (1995). In 2004, her autobiography was released – Celia – my life. In 1990, Cruz won the Grammy Award for The Best Tropical Latin Performance. In 1994, became part of the Billboards Latin Music Hall of Fame and awarded with the National Medal of Arts by the president Bill Clinton.

July 2003 was a black month for Celia’s fans. At the age of 77, she died of brain cancer at her home, in New Jersey.  In February 2004, her last album was awarded at the Premios Lo Nuestro for The Best Salsa Release of the year. On May, 2005, the Smithsonian Institution opened an exhibition about the life and music of Celia Cruz. Her career was highlighted through photos, costumes, videos and music.

Celia Cruz discography includes many albums, but we’ll remember just some of them: Azucar Negra (1993),  Mambo del Amor (1994), Mi vida es Cantar (1998), Siempre Vivire (2000), Carnaval de la vida (2003).

Celia’s songs are pure life and they all have the same message: you have to enjoy life as it is, life is the most precious present and you have to love it.

Celia Cruz – La vida es un carnaval


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