Cuban-American Salsa singer Celia Cruz (1925 – 2003) performs (with the Fania All-Stars) at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, October 23, 1999. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)
The “Queen of Salsa” is being honored in a historic way. Celia Cruz, an acclaimed Latin musical artist, has been selected to be featured on the U.S. coin as part of the American Women Quarters series and will be the first Afro-Latina woman to do so.
An international sensation, Cruz gained recognition for the crossover ability of her Spanish-language songs that became global hits. Her storied career features multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy awards and the National Medal of Arts granted to her by the U.S. Congress in 1994.
The icon is of Black and Cuban ancestry, born in the island country before moving to the United States while her career took off. According to NBC News, her many historic feats include being the first Afro-Cuban to sing in Spanish on U.S. television and to perform at Carnegie Hall.
The multifaceted legend died at 77 due to complications from cancer and was laid to rest in The Bronx, New York. A year before her passing, she received her final Grammy Award for Best Salsa Album in recognition of her last project, Regalo del Alma.
Her legacy remains prominent, with her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame still beloved, and her dedication to education in the arts fulfilled at the Celia Cruz Bronx High School Of Music in New York City.
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Source: Black Enterprise