Email us for help
Celia Cruz RIP Black History Month special series honoring Black Artists in Latin Music
Cruz’s first recordings were made in 1948. In 1950, her singing career started its upward journey to stardom when she began singing with celebrated Cuban orchestra Sonora Matancera. Initially, there were doubts that Cruz could successfully replace the previous lead singer and that a woman could sell salsa records at all. However, Cruz helped propel the group — and Latin music in general — to new heights, and the band toured widely through Central and North America throughout the 1950s.
Celia Cruz first gained recognition in the 1950s, as a singer with the orchestra Sonora Matancera. Relocating to the United States after the ascent of Fidel Castro, Cruz recorded 23 gold records with Tito Puente, the Fania All-Stars and other collaborators. Cruz died in New Jersey in 2003, at the age of 77.