Today marks the 88th birthday of the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz and to honor the singer whose voice was just as sparkling as her image Google has dedicated its browser image to the Late Latin superstar.
In her iconic blue and white wig and clad in a peacock style gown, Cruz stands in place of the second “g” shining brighter than the golden letters around her.
Born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso de la Santísima Trinidad on October 21st, 1925 in Havana, Cuba Cruz became one of Cuba’s brightest and internationally renowned stars. Known for her enchanting voice backed by the spicy salsa beats Cruz was popularly known by her coined phrase “Azúcar” the Spanish word for Sugar.
Growing up in Havana, Cruz was the second of four children and lived in Santos Suárez. Her mother, Catalina Alfonso-Ollita was a house wife who cared for the family while her father, Simon Cruz worked as a railroad stoker.
Before becoming a singer, Cruz was expected to become a Spanish language teacher as her father wished however Cruz’s aunt and several teachers encouraged her to use the power of her voice and become a singer.
While she started out rough, Cruz performed and sang in singing competitions around Cuba which started to earn her attention. Cruz eventually came to the United States after Fidel Castro took power. And although she lived in New Jersey she did not forget where she came from and held Cuba close to her heart and enriched in her music.
Cruz has recorded dozens of records which earned her seven Grammy Awards and still reigns as loyalty within the salsa scene and Latin music industry.
Sadly, on July 16th, 2003 at the age of 77 Celia Cruz passed away in her battle with brain cancer. Although she left this world a decade ago, Cruz is still very much alive in her music that will never lose its sweet ¡Azúcar!