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|Celia Cruz in 1957|
|Full name||Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso|
|Also known as||La Guarachera de Cuba|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1925-10-21)October 21, 1925
|Deceased||July 16, 2003(2003-07-16)
Fort Lee, New Jersey, US
|Genre(s)||Guaracha, son, bolero, rumba, salsa|
|Record Labels||Fania Records, RMM Records & Video, Sony Discos|
|Worked with||Sonora Matancera, Tito Puente, Fania All-Stars|
Úrsula Hilaria Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso (Havana, October 21, 1925 – Fort Lee, United States, July 16, 2003), better known as Celia Cruz b), was a Cuban singer, the most popular of her country’s music, nicknamed “La reina de la salsa”.
Throughout her career, Celia Cruz interpreted and internationally popularized rhythms such as son, son montuno, guaguancó, rumba, guaracha and bolero. However, the genre that led to stardom was salsa, a Cuban rhythm influenced by styles from different parts of the world, which established her as one of the leading female artists in the history of Latin American music.
He built his career at first in Cuba, then in Mexico (a country where he also belongs to the Golden Age of Mexican cinema), Colombia, Venezuela and the rest of Latin America, and later in the United States and on all continents of the world. Celia Cruz was, if not the most, one of the most outstanding and best-paid singers of the 20th century; She broke myths, becoming a myth herself, setting guidelines and establishing a milestone in the history of Cuban and Latin American music. He created a unique style and an iconic image of unsurpassed attractiveness thanks to a charismatic and musical talent that is difficult to replicate, establishing a place of respect for women who perform folk music for what is the paradigm and the banner of women’s liberation in popular music of the American continent, conquering in addition different continents and transmitting its magical joy, contagious even in the most distant territories, opening the way to Latin artists in latitudes where she was the one who first exposed and aroused the interest of the public to Latin American music, what is considered to be the authentic symbol of Latin culture in the world.
Celia Cruz also made famous the expression “sugar!” that she adopted and remained in the collective memory as her identifying phrase, which she shouted as a carnival ad inciting fun. With an unprecedented and incomparable talent and an unusual energy, she became an icon and bulwark of music worldwide and is the most loved Hispanic singer and followers in the world. His career formed an invaluable legacy and inescapable reference for future generations who discover in it a powerful and prolific source of inspiration.
He was born in the Santos Suárez neighborhood of Havana. His father, Simón Cruz, was a railway stoker, and his mother, Catalina Alfonso Ramos, a housewife. Celia Cruz shared her childhood with her three siblings-Dolores, Gladys and Bárbaro-and numerous cousins, and her chores included lullabying the children with lullabies; That’s how he started singing. I used to watch dances and orchestras through the windows of the singing cafes, and I could not wait to jump inside. However, only her mother approved of this hobby: her father wanted her to be a school teacher, and not without sorrow she tried to satisfy him and study teaching, but she could more heart when she was about to finish the race and left to enter the Conservatory National Music.
Meanwhile, Celia Cruz sang and danced in the habanera corralas and participated in radio programs for amateurs, such as Tea Time or The Supreme Court of Art, where she won first prizes such as a cake or a silver chain. , until by its interpretation of the tango “Nostalgia” it received in payment 15 dollars in Radio García Serra. He later sang in the orchestras Gloria Matancera and Sonora Caracas and was part of the show Las mulatas de fuego, which toured Venezuela and Mexico.
Before joining the Sonora Matancera orchestra, Celia Cruz participated in a musical and comedy show entitled «The supreme court of art» where she shared the stage with outstanding singers of the time, such as Aurora Linchetti. Shortly after he participated in the Radio Cadena Suaritos, along with a group that performed Yorubas choruses and rhythms of batá, achieving by that time his first recording with the singer Obdulio Morales. The songs he recorded at that moment would be incorporated later to one of the first compilations of his work in Long Duration format. In 1948, Roderico Rodney Neyra founded the group of dancers Las Mulatas de Fuego and Celia was hired with this group as a singer, reaching great success. In Venezuela, she is hired to record her first LPs of 78 commercial rpm by the commercial label Serfaty backed by the Orchestra “Leonard Melody” with the following themes:
|LP 344-A||La Mazucamba||Orlando de La Rosa|
|LP 344-B||Stay, Black||Facundo Rivero|
|LP 345-A||The Cumbanchero||Rafael Hernández|
That same year he also recorded with the Venezuelan orchestra of Luis Alfonzo Larraín:
|–||The Comparsa is Already Approaching||Julio Blanco Leonard|
|–||Comparsa Barracon||Bebo Valdés|
|–||Century Rarity||Bebo Valdés|
For 1949 it registers with the Sonora Caracas:
|LP 019-A||What Jelengue||José Antonio Méndez|
|LP 019-B||Rumba Columbia||Senén Suárez|
|LP 020-A||A Little Bit of Your Love||Julio Gutiérrez|
|LP 020-B||Pa ‘Gozá||Aurelio Martínez|
In the middle of the year the group travels to Mexico, obtaining the same successes and, upon returning to Havana, Celia will record two songs with the Sonora Matancera group.
|LD 503-A||Ocanasordi||Carmelina Keissel|
|LD 503-B||For Suffering Chickens||Myrta Silva|
Soon after, she was hired by Radio Cadena Suaritos. It was the year of 1950, when he met the businessman Rafael Sotolongo who sought it out because he wanted to sing with the Conjunto Sonora Matancera, since the singer Myrta Silva had decided to leave the group to return to Puerto Rico where he had acquired a property and wanted to enjoy it, leaving the vacancy available for a female voice. His income was approved by the director of the group, Rogelio Martínez. Upon hearing of this interview the executives of the radio where she worked, she was arbitrarily dismissed.
The Golden Age with the Sonora Matancera
There was a radio program called “Cascabeles Candado” and whose exclusive orchestra was the Sonora Matancera. One fine day, Celia after the interview with Don Rogelio went to Radio Progreso where they rehearsed from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. at 12 p.m., with the first one found in the studio was with what would be her future husband: Pedro Knight who was the second trumpeter of the Sonora. Having arrived all the members, they rehearsed, but it did not sound good at all. Celia, as she had her arrangements that did not coincide with the number of members of the Sonora, handed them to Severino Ramos to be adapted, and to be called when they were ready. He debuted with the group on August 3, 1950. Initially it was not received by the public, sending letters to the director and the Radio to be changed, not achieving its goal. Rogelio Martinez, having faith in her, went to his label SEECO Records, whose director and manager was Sidney Siegel. There was another opposition, since the criterion of Mr. Siegel, as he was called, was that women did not sell records and could not dare to make such a mistake, but even so, Rogelio convinced the owner by challenging him and that is how he recorded the 15 December 1950 in 78 rpm format. His first two songs were:
|S 7076-A||Cao Cao Maní Picao||José Carbó Menéndez|
|S 7076-B||Mata Siguaraya||Cold Linen|
It was such a success that Mr. Siegel gave the go-ahead and so Celia began making her recordings with the Sonora Matancera, a musical marriage that lasted fifteen years. His unforgettable successes: Burundanga, Caramelo, El Yerberito Moderno, Tu voz, Ritmo, tambó and flores, Pa ‘la pigeon, Nuevo ritmo omelenkó, Vallán vallende, Soup in bottle, in total recorded 188 issues.
Accompanied by Sonora Matancera, Celia also made short musical interventions in Mexican films such as Salón México (Emilio Fernández, 1950) and Una gallega en La Habana (1953), with Argentine comedian Niní Marshall.
Celia Cruz Net Worth – $1 Million
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