Celia Cruz – La Guarachera de Cuba | Azucarrrr ! | Biography & Discography

| 10/21/2011

Celia Cruz or Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso born in Santos Suárez neighborhood in Havana, Cuba, on October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003, she was one of the most successful Salsa performers who have earned twenty-three gold albums. She was best known internationally as the “Queen of Salsa” as well as “La Guarachera de Cuba.”

She is the second child of fourteen children born to Catalina Alfonso and Simón Cruz.

The Queen of Salsa

Celia Cruz began singing in Havana’s radio station Radio Garcia-Serra’s popular “Hora del Té” daily broadcast, she sang the tango “Nostalgias”, (and won a cake as first place) often winning cakes and also opportunities to participate in more contests. Her first recordings were made in 1948 in Venezuela. Before that, Cruz had recorded for radio stations.

In 1950, Cruz made her first major breakthrough, after the lead singer of the Sonora Matancera, a renowned Cuban orchestra, left the group and Cruz was called to fill in. Cruz was hired permanently by the orchestra, but she wasn’t well accepted by the public at first. However, the orchestra stood by their decision, and soon Cruz became famous throughout Cuba. During the 15 years she was a member, the band traveled all over Latin America, becoming known as “Café Con Leche” (coffee with milk).

With Fidel Castro assuming control of Cuba in 1959, Cruz and her husband, Pedro Knight, refused to return to their homeland and became citizens of the United States.

Celia Cruz in 1974 joined to a group named the Fania All-Stars, which was an ensemble of salsa musicians from every orchestra signed by the Fania label (owner of Vaya Records). With the Fania All-Stars, Cruz had the opportunity of visiting England, France, Zaire (Today’s DR Congo), and to return to tour Latin America.

Cruz became known for her trademark shout “¡Azúcar!” (“Sugar!” in Spanish). The catch phrase started as the punch line for a joke Cruz used to tell frequently at her concerts.

Has recorded over 70 albums during her 50 year career


In 1990, Cruz won a Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Performance – Ray Barretto & Celia Cruz – Ritmo en el Corazon. She later recorded an anniversary album with la Sonora Matancera. In 1992, she starred with Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas in the film The Mambo Kings. In 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded Cruz the National Medal of Arts. In 2001, she recorded a new album, on which Johnny Pacheco was one of the producers.

On July 16, 2003, Cruz died of a cancerous brain tumor at her home in Fort Lee, New Jersey. She was survived by her husband Pedro Knight, who died February 3, 2007.

Was the third major Cuban salsa star to die in the same week. The other two were Compay Segundo and Tito Duarte.


Download Celia Cruz Music


1958 Incomparable Celia
1959 Mi Diario Musical
1965 Canciones Premiadas
1965 Sabor y Ritmo de Pueblos
1966 Cuba Y Puerto Rico Son
1966 Son con Guaguancó
1967 Bravo Celia Cruz
1967 A Ti México
1968 Excitante
1968 Serenata Guajira
1969 Quimbo Quimbumbia
1970 Etc. Etc. Etc.
1971 Celia Y Tito Puente en España
1974 Celia & Johnny
1975 Tremendo Caché
1976 Recordando El Ayer
1977 Only They Could Have Made This Album
1980 Celia/Johnny/Pete
1981 Celia & Willie
1982 Feliz Encuentro
1983 Tremendo Trío
1986 Candela
1986 De Nuevo
1987 Winners
1988 Ritmo en el Corazón
1990 Guarachera del Mundo
1991 Canta Celia Cruz
1991 Reina del Ritmo Cubano
1992 Tributo a Ismael Rivera
1992 Verdadera Historia
1993 Azucar Negra
1993 Boleros Polydor
1993 Homenaje a Beny Moré, Vol. 3
1993 Introducing
1994 Guaracheras de La Guaracha
1994 Homenaje a Los Santos
1994 Irrepetible
1994 Mambo del Amor
1994 Merengue Saludos Amigos
1995 Cuba’s Queen of Rhythm
1995 Double Dynamite
1995 Festejando Navidad
1995 Irresistible
1996 Celia Cruz Delta
1997 Cambiando Ritmos
1997 Duets
1997 También Boleros
1998 Afro-Cubana
1998 Mi Vida Es Cantar
1999 En Vivo Radio Progreso, Vol. 1
1999 En Vivo Radio Progreso, Vol. 2
1999 En Vivo Radio Progreso, Vol. 3
1999 En Vivo C.M.Q., Vol. 4
1999 En Vivo C.M.Q., Vol. 5
2000 Celia Cruz and Friends: A Night of Salsa
2000 Habanera
2000 Salsa
2000 Siempre Viviré
2001 La Negra Tiene Tumbao
2002 Hits Mix
2002 Unrepeatable
2003 Candela Pura
2003 Carnaval de la Vida
2003 Son Boleros, Boleros Son
2003 Reina de la Música Cubana
2003 Regalo del Alma
2003 Más Grande Historia Jamás Cantada
2003 Estrellas de la Sonora Matancera
2003 Celia in the House: Classic Hits Remixed
2003 Celia & Johnny
2003 Homenaje a Beny Moré
2003 Dios Disfrute a la Reina

Source : Wikipedia

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Category: Discographies, Music

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