Salsa Singer. Dubbed "The Queen Of Salsa", she was one of the most successful performers of that music genre in the 20th Century. Born one of 14 children in the small village of Barrio Santra Suarez, Havana, she was drawn to music at an early age, singing for tourist, her family, and many school productions and neighborhood gatherings. Taken to cabarets and nightclubs by an aunt, she was introduced to the world of music. With the encouragement of a cousin, she began to enter and win many local talent shows. Although her father wanted her to become a teacher, she continued to pursue music. Her first break came in 1950 when she joined the band "La Sonora Matancera". Celia Cruz remained with the group for 15 years, touring thoughout the world. When Communist dictator Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in 1960, she refused to return to the island nation and became a citizen of the United States after settling in New York City, New York.. Leaving the La Sonora Matancera band in 1965, she went on to pursue her solo career with a band formed for her by famed Latin percussionist and bandleader Tito Puente. Although she released eight albums, the collaboration failed to achieve commercial success, and they parted ways, although Cruz and Puente resumed their partnership for a special appearance at the Grammy award ceremonies in 1987. Signed by "Vaya" the sister label of salsa music producing Fania Records, she recorded with legendary salsa music figures Oscar D'Leon, Cheo Feliciano and Hector Rodriguez in the mid 1960s. Celia Cruz's first success after leaving La Sonora Matancera was in 1974 when she recorded a duo record with singer Johnny Pacheco which was called simply "Celia and Johnny." In 1992 she made her movie debut in "Mambo Kings." She also appeared in television series "The Perez Family" and she sang a duet version of "Loco De Amor" in the movie "Something Wild" in 1998. She was known throughout the salsa music world for her trademark stage shout of "¡Azúcar!" ("Sugar!" in Spanish).
Bio by: Annette(Chavie) Rivera
La Reina De La Salsa, The Queen Of Salsa
1921–2007 (m. 1962)