Today is the birthday of one of my favorite singers. Had she lived, Celia Cruz born Ursula Hilaria Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso, would have been either 84 or 85 years-old. Her date of birth is so not important as much as her magnificent talent and influence in the music industry and people all over the world.
¡Azúcar! was Celia Cruz’s battle cry. It literally means sugar. It was her way of energizing the music and making it her own. It was also an allusion to African slaves who worked Cuba's sugar plantations. Sugar is an essential agricultural product in Cuba’s history, directly linked both to the vibrant diversity of Cuban culture and to the violence of slavery.
Celia was a trailblazer for women, blacks and Latinos; may she live on in the hearts and minds of many. Celia, La Reina! ¡Azúcar!
Celia Cruz and husband Pedro Knight