Celia Cruz

Biography:


Salsa – Celia Cruz – Oye Como Va by qware1967
Celia Cruz was a Cuban-American singer, best known as one of the most popular salsa performers of all time, recording 23 gold albums. 

Synopsis

Celia Cruz was born in Havana, Cuba on October 21, 1925. She first gained recognition in the 1950s, as a singer with the orchestra Sonora Matancera. Relocating to the United States after the ascent of Fidel Castro, Cruz recorded 23 gold records with Tito Puente, the Fania All-Stars and other collaborators. Cruz died in New Jersey in 2003, at the age of 77.

Early Years

Celia Cruz grew up in the poor Havana neighborhood of Santos Suárez, where Cuba’s diverse musical climate became a growing influence. In the 1940s, Cruz won a “La hora del té” (“Tea Time”) singing contest, propelling her into a music career. While Cruz’s mother encouraged her to enter other contests around Cuba, her more traditional father had other plans for her, encouraging her to become a teacher—a common occupation for Cuban women at that time.

Rising Musical Career

Cruz enrolled at the National Teachers’ College, but dropped out soon after, since her live and radio performances around were gaining acclaim. Tempering her own growing ambitions with her father’s wish for her to stay in school, she enrolled at Havana’s National Conservatory of Music. However, instead of finding reasons for continuing on the academic track, one of Cruz’s professors convinced her that she should pursue a full-time singing career.

Cruz’s first recordings were made in 1948. In 1950, her singing career started its upward journey to stardom when she began singing with celebrated Cuban orchestra Sonora Matancera. Initially, there were doubts that Cruz could successfully replace the previous lead singer and that a woman could sell salsa records at all. However, Cruz helped propel the group—and Latin music in general—to new heights, and the band toured widely through Central and North America throughout the 1950s.

Commercial Success

At the time of the 1959 Communist takeover of Cuba, Sonora Matancera was touring in Mexico, and members of the band decided to leave Cuba for good, crossing into the United States instead of returning to their homeland. Cruz became a U.S. citizen in 1961, and Fidel Castro, enraged by Cruz’s defection, barred her from returning to Cuba.

Cruz remained relatively unknown in the United States beyond the Cuban exile community initially, but when she joined the Tito Puente Orchestra in the mid–1960s, she gained exposure to a wide audience. Puente had a large following across Latin America, and as the new face of the band, Cruz became a dynamic focus for the group, reaching a new fan base. On stage, Cruz enthralled audiences with her flamboyant attire and crowd engagement—traits that bolstered her 40-year singing career.

With her seemingly unfaltering vocals, Cruz continued performing live and recording albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and beyond. In that time, she made more than 75 records, including nearly 20 that went gold, and won several Grammys and Latin Grammys. She also appeared in several movies, earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts.

Death

Cruz died in New Jersey on July 16, 2003, at the age of 77.

 

 

Related Videos

Related Post

Kim Kardashians Divorce From Kris Humphries Is Fin...
views 0
Kim Kardashians Divorce From Kris Humphries Is Finalized It's official! Kim Kardashian is a single woman … and just in time to give birth to her baby...
Kim Kardashian gets sexy on beach, posts picture o...
views 0
Kim Kardashian gets sexy on beach, posts picture on Twitter Reality television star Kim Kardashian knows how to be in the limelight. The buxom beauty...
Kim Kardashian Kanye West Accused of Cheating Scan...
views 0
Kim Kardashian Kanye West Accused of Cheating Scandal Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are hoping to ignore the latest rumors about their relationship a...
Snoop Dogg Goes Off on Kim Kardashian: ‘She&...
views 0
Snoop Dogg Goes Off on Kim Kardashian: 'She's Coldblooded' (Video) Snoop Dogg : Updated: The Long Beach rapper gives the reality star's ex, Kri...
Kim Kardashian Kanye West married for 73 days! How...
views 0
Kim Kardashian Kanye West married for 73 days! How Kimye surpassed infamous Kris Humphries marriage mark They've got this love locked down. Kim ...
KRIS HUMPHRIES FURIOUS AT HIS EX KIM AS CAITLYN JE...
views 0
KRIS HUMPHRIES FURIOUS AT HIS EX KIM AS CAITLYN JENNER SLAMS HIM ON ‘I AM CAIT’ — WHY HE THINKS KARDASHIAN IS BEHIND IT Kris Humphries and Kim Kardas...
Kim Kardashian ex Kris Humphries returns to realit...
views 0
Kim Kardashian ex Kris Humphries returns to reality TV for a special spot on Million Dollar Listing The former Mr Kim K appears in a promo video for ...
Kim Kardashians ex presses for divorce trial to en...
views 0
Kim Kardashians ex presses for divorce trial to ensure 'truth' about marriage is heard she infamously filed for divorce after just 72 days of marri...
Kourtney Kardashian gets her maracas out as she ma...
views 0
Kourtney Kardashian gets her maracas out as she marks her 32nd birthday in Mexico She's not exactly known for her musical talents. Kourtney Kardas...
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries Honeymoon Pics
views 0
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries Honeymoon Pics Kim Kardashian wastes no time getting down to business with her new husband after a romantic din...