Celia Cruz – the Queen of Salsa

I adore Cuban music and have 2 Celia Cruz songs in the playlist right now:  “Yo Vivire” (I Will Survive), and “Rie y Llora” (Laugh and Cry).  These are both from her last album Regalo del Alma, which received both the Latin Grammy and Grammy awards for best salsa album of 2003.  She was in her 70’s. I love her voice in these later songs.

Cruz’s prolific singing career began in 1950’s Havana, and she later moved to New York and helped popularize and build the identity of Latin music in the U.S.  She is also admirable as a very rare female salsera, who faced numerous doubters when she started out.

There’s a fun website by the Smithsonian that has photos, video clips and biographical information on Celia Cruz, including pictures of some of her custom-made over-the-top shoes. Check it out http://americanhistory.si.edu/celiacruz/

Some other Zumba favorites are “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” and “La Vida es un Carnaval”.  I hope you enjoy this singer’s amazing voice and continue to explore more of the riches of Cuban music.