July 16, 2003 by

Celia Cruz

31 comments

Categories: Musicians

ccruz.jpgCelia Cruz, the queen of salsa and the grande dame of Cuban music, died on July 16 of brain cancer. She was 77.
Growing up in Cuba, Cruz used to sing her brothers and sisters to sleep. Though she had planned on becoming a literature teacher, Cruz began touring the local radio circuit after winning a contest one of her cousins urged her to enter.
Her big break came in 1950 when the popular band, La Sonora Matancera, asked her to become its new lead singer. Cruz received mixed reviews from the band’s fans, but gained enough positive feedback to leave Cuba and go on tour.
Once she conquered Latin America, Cruz traveled to New York. There she began a successful solo career and a colloboration with Puerto Rican percussionist Tito Puente.
Cruz’s success infuriated Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. He branded her a traitor for leaving Cuba, and when Cruz’s mother died in 1962, Castro refused to allow her back in the country to attend the funeral.
The flamboyant singer who was known for wearing nine-inch heels and magnificent wigs, made more than 76 records, and toured all over the world. She won two Grammys and three Latin Grammys and appeared in several films, including “The Mambo Kings” and “The Perez Family.” She was even immortalized with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Cruz’s final CD will be released in August.
Watch Celia Cruz’s Video for “La Negra Tiene Tumbao”

31 Responses to Celia Cruz

  1. Daniela

    Celia Cruz was The Best Singers Of All Time!! I Loved Her Music, Talent, Music Videos etc…Who Could Ever Forget A Singer Like Her Filled with Love, Courage, Happiness And Everything She Had Up Inside!!! WE LOVE YOU CELIA CRUZ!!!

  2. Jennifer

    Celia was a major influence in my life being half Jamaican and Cuba I greww up listening to her, eventhough Im 16 she made me proud to be cubana and she still does. She is the essence of salsa music, and she will be missed but never forgotten.

  3. Emily

    Im doing a report on Celia Cruz and she seems like she would be one of the most loved singers today if she was here with us… i cant tell that she will be missed deeply!!!

  4. la traviesa

    we miss her. she was the best singer i hope she has a better life in heave she will always be in are heart r.i.p celia cruz we love you

  5. lidia

    I loved Celia Cruz She was very wanderful to me. Celia Cruz always remember our love that you showed us THANK YOU WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU AND KEEP US IN OUR HEART.!!!!!!!

  6. Timoteo

    Celia you are the queen of salsa,la guarachera de cuba. I love you, te quiero mucho negra.Tu eras y eres la voz de cuba.AzUUUUcaa!

  7. randy

    I LOVE YOU FOR SINGING AT MY BABYSISTERS BAPTISM I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU THANK YOU TIA CELIA CRUZ
    AZUCARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
    POR SIEMPRE

  8. sweet

    I think this lady was a great dream to anybody black, white ,latinos or island origins she was the 8th wonder of the would. Rest in peace ms cruz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. DELOREZ RAMOS

    When God made Celia, he broke the mold! as no other female or male for that matter comes close to the entertainer of the century. Before there was Selena, there was Celia, before there was Gloria Estefan, there was Celia and the list goes on and on!
    I said before and I’ll say it again. Without Celia the world would not reconize we Morenas
    exist. I sing and pay tribute to Ms. Cruz and i sing the songs”La negra tiene tubao, azuca negra etc. beautiful songs that let the world know we are talented, intelligent and can cross more than borders! Eternally her number one fan! Ms. Celia Cruz!

  10. Umm Hussain

    To this day, I remember the Queen of Salsa. Her music has meant a lot to me, always bringing a smile to my face. God be please with you Celia. The world misses and loves you.

  11. melissa

    i think that shes was a big influence in a lot of peoples lives including mine.because she found love for music and made it big and she is now a legend.

  12. montoya loves goya

    I can’t believe the Queen in not here with us. I just want to pinch myself like this is a dream. i fell in love with her voice a long time ago. It was so unique and rich. If you haven’t bought her autobiography, you don’t know what you’re missing.(There is an english version as well)
    Always in my heart. AzUcar.
    “I had no doubt that if we had children, I would’ve retired for good.”
    –Celia Cruz: My Life

  13. RAQUEL OLVERA

    A GREAT WOMEN WITH A BEAUTIFUL HEART A NEVER ENDING SOUL THAT WILL NOT BE FOR GOTTEN. TO THE QUEEN OF SALSA MUSIC WHO SONG WILL NEVER BE FOR GOTTEN AND GREAT LOVE SHE SHARE WITH HER PEOPLE AND FANS.
    AZUCAR MI NENA QUE DIOS LA BENDIGA DONDE ESTE MI REINA DE LA SALSA …………….

  14. Manuel campas

    ;-)Celia cruz was the american dream. When she died i was eight but i remember the news broadcasts i am now 13 and am in love with her songs no one will ever be like her she is the best thing that happened to this country. Rest in peace we love you and will miss you!

  15. lauren

    I’m doing a Spanish report on Celia. She is a really amazing person, I’m surprised I’ve never heard of her before. She lived a good life but it’s sad that she had to die. She will be remembered 🙂

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