Who is Celia Cruz?
Celia Cruz was a renowned singer/actress from Cuba who was active in the industry from 1948 to 2003. Her music belonged to salsa, huaraches, bolero, and rumba genres. She is considered one of the biggest influences and artists in this genre. She is called the “Queen of Salsa” and also the “Queen of Latin Music”. She initially gained popularity for performing in “Sonora Matancera”.
She released a total of 37 studio albums. She won two Grammys throughout her career. She has considered a legend as her contribution to salsa music is untouchable. Cruz was also an actress and appeared in various films. She passed away on July 16 of 2003. Her body was rested in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
|Full Name||Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso|
|Date of Birth||October 21 of 1925|
|Birth Place||Havana, Cuba|
|Parents||Simón Cruz and Catalina Alfonso Ramos|
|Husband(s)||Pedro Knight(died 2007)|
|Death||July 16 of 2003|
|Net Worth||US$ 1 million|
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Celia Cruz’s real name is Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso. She was born to parents Simón Cruz and Catalina Alfonso Ramos on October 21 of 1925 in Havana which is located in Cuba. Her father worked as a railway stroker and her mother worked as a housewife. Her extended family consisted of 14 children and she was the eldest. She had three siblings.
She started singing at a very early age of around 10 months. She was an avid music listener and dabbled into various genres. She wanted to become a teacher and after high school, she attended a school of teachers. She started learning various skills related to music at Havana’s National Conservatory of Music in 1947. She sang on various radio stations and participated in many competitions.
Her first album was titled “Cuba’s Foremost Rhythm Singer” and it was released in 1958. The same year her album titled “Incomparable Celia” was released. The following year, in 1959, her album titled “Mi Diario Musical” was released. Two years later, in 1961, her album titled “Canciones Premiadas” was released. In 1964, the album titled “Homenaje a Los Santos” was released. The following year, “Canciones Que Yo Quería Haber Grabado Primero” and “Sabor y Ritmo de Pueblos” were released.
She went on to release the album titled “Cuba Y Puerto Rico Son” and “Son con Guaguancó” in 1966. The following year, in 1967, the album “Bravo Celia Cruz” and “A Ti México” was released. In 1968, she released “Excitante” and “Serenata Guajira”. The following year, she released “Quimbo Quimbumbia”. In 1970, the album “Etc. Etc. Etc.” Was released. After this, in 1971, the album titled “Celia y Tito Puente en España” was released. 1974 saw her release the album “Celia & Johnny” after which “Tremendo Caché” was released in 1975.
In 1976, the album titled “Recordando El Ayer” was released. The following year “Only They Could Have Made This Album” was released which was followed by the album “Homenaje A Beny More” in 1978. In 1980, the album “Celia/Johnny/Pete” was released. 1981 saw the release of the album titled “Celia & Willie”. 1982 saw her release the album titled “Feliz Encuentro”. In 1983, the album titled “Tremendo Trío” was released. “Candela” was released in 1986. The same year, “De Nuevo” was released. The following year, “Winners” was released.
In 1988, the album titled “Ritmo en el Corazón” was released which was followed by “Guarachera del Mundo” in 1990. In 1991, she released two albums, namely, “Canta Celia Cruz” and “Reina del Ritmo Cubano”. 1992 saw her release “Tributo an Ismael Rivera” and “Verdadera Historia”. In 1993, she released “Azucar Negra”, “Boleros Polydor”, “Homenaje a Beny Moré, Vol. 3” and “Introducing”. 1994 saw her release 5 albums, namely, “Guaracheras de La Guaracha”, “Homenaje a Los Santos”, “Irrepetible”, “Mambo del Amor” and “Merengue Saludos Amigos”.
In 1995, she released “Cuba’s Queen of Rhythm”, “Double Dynamite”, “Festejando Navidad” and Irresistible. 1996 saw the release of “Celia Cruz Delta”. The following year, “Cambiando Ritmos” was released. In 1997, “Duets” and “También Boleros” were released. 1998 saw the release of “Afro-Cubana” and “Mi Vida Es Cantar”. In 1999, “En Vivo C.M.Q., Vol. 4 En Vivo C.M.Q., Vol. 5”, “En Vivo Radio Progreso, Vol. 1”, “En Vivo Radio Progreso, Vol. 2”, “En Vivo Radio Progreso, Vol. 3”, and “Celia Cruz and Friends: A Night of Salsa” were released.
2000 saw the release of “Habanera“, “Salsa” and “Siempre Viviré”. In 2001, she released “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” and in 2002 “Hits Mix” was released. The same year, “Unrepeatable” was released. In 2003, “Homenaje a Beny Moré” and “Regalo del Alma” was released. After her death, “Dios disfrute a la Reina” was posthumously released in 2004, and “Havana Nights” was released in 2019.
While she was on tour with Sonora Matancera in Mexico, the Cuban Revolution ended and Fidel Castro came into power. He banned the band from the country and didn’t let them back in. The band decided to settle in the United States of America. She wasn’t allowed to go to Cuba even after her mother died in 1962. In July of 1962, Celia Cruz and Pedro Knight got married. Pedro was the trumpet player in the band.
Together, they do not have any children. Pedro was also her manager. After Celia passed away on July 16 of 2003, she was buried in a mausoleum that Pedro built. After Pedro died in 2007, he was buried in the same place. Celia died of brain cancer. Thousands of fans still visit the mausoleum to pay their tributes to her.
Height, Weight, and Age
Celia Cruz stood 1.67 meters tall and weighed approximately 74 kg. At the time of her death, she was 77 years old.
Celia Cruz isn’t active on any social media platforms as she is no longer alive. An official Instagram page dedicated to keeping her legacy alive exists. The page has 47.1k followers on Instagram. They post pictures and videos from when she was alive and also run various campaigns to keep her memories alive among people.
You can follow her on:
Celia Cruz’s net worth was around US$ 1 million before her passing. She made most of her fortune from being a singer.