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Thread: Celia Cruz Passed Away

  1. #1
    Registered User BFFan is offline
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    Salsa Singer, Celia Cruz Died Today!

    I SEEMED TO ALWAYS BRING BAD NEWS.

    MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE.

  2. #2
    Rum Aficionado/Soca-holic Rummy's Avatar Rummy is offline
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    Is it true this time? If so, I'm so sorry. I love her music.

  3. #3
    Carnival Survivor Lady Slaughter's Avatar Lady Slaughter is offline
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    rest in peace :angel1

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    Shitsuren Kyuka RenzePenze's Avatar RenzePenze is offline
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    Originally posted by onerumpunchpleez
    Is it true this time? If so, I'm so sorry. I love her music.
    me too.. and i loved to see her perform....

    R.I.P
    The saint and the sinner are just exchanging notes. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

    The matador wins by avoiding the bull not colliding with him!

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    sweeter than honey arimagal72's Avatar arimagal72 is offline
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    Yo .......ah saw in on the news a few minutes ago this is so sad.........may her soul rest in peace:angel1

  6. #6
    Gangsta Boogie Bake n Shark's Avatar Bake n Shark is offline
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    Yeah...although I'm relatively new to Salsa and Afro-Cuban traditional music this really has me sad as well...especially coming as it is on the heels of the death of Compay Segundo earlier this week.

    Our loss is Heaven's gain.

  7. #7
    It's ah&am p;am p;am p;am p;am p;am p;am p;am p;am p;am p;qu ot; G & amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; amp; a mp ;amp;amp ;quot; thing Chocolate's Avatar Chocolate is offline
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    This is so sad to hear...........may she rest in peace.

  8. #8
    Dragon
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    Salsa Singer

    Celia Cruz is the undisputed queen of salsa. After more than 40 years of performing professionally, she continues to intrigue Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike around the world with the rhythms of her Cuban homeland. A remarkable performer and person, she loves her fans as much as she loves her music. As she said in Más, "Music is what gave me the courage to fight and get out of poverty and touch the universe.... The only important thing is music." Celia Cruz has indeed brightened the world with her songs, and in doing so she has realized her dreams. She commented in the New York Times, "When people hear me sing, I want them to be happy, happy, happy. I don't want them thinking about when there's not any money, or when there's fighting at home. My message is always felicidad — happiness."

    Celia Cruz will not divulge the year of her birth. The attempts of some biographers to uncover that date have failed, and they can only estimate that she was born around 1929. It is well known, however, that Cruz's birthday is October 21, and that she was born in Havana, Cuba, to Simon and Catalina (Alfonso) Cruz. Although Simon and Catalina Cruz had only four children of their own (Celia was the second eldest), 14 children, including nieces, nephews, and cousins, occupied the Cruz home in a poor part of Havana, the Santa Saurez barrio, or neighborhood.

    Preparing to Teach
    As a young girl, Celia Cruz loved music. She was responsible for putting the children who lived in her home to sleep with lullabyes; the songs she sang not only kept the children awake, they lured neighbors to the house. It was apparent at that time that Celia was gifted with a beautiful voice. With her aunt, she listened to the radio and went to ballrooms. She made friends with Cuban musicians. Instead of aspiring to become a singer, however, Cruz prepared herself for a career as a teacher. "I wanted to be a mother, a teacher, and a housewife," Cruz recalled in the New York Times. Cruz's father encouraged her to become a teacher; he wanted the young woman to have a respectable job. Celia Cruz graduated from the República de Mexico public school in Havana and went on to the Escuela Normal para Maestros.

    Fortunately for salsa fans, Cruz never became a teacher of literature. Despite her father's wishes, she left school and did not return after her singing career began to take off in the late 1940s. Cruz was initially encouraged to become a professional singer while she was still in school, following her victory in a talent show called "La Hora de Té," which aired on the García Serra radio network in 1947. Cruz sang the tango "Nostalgia" in bolero tempo and, in addition to winning a cake, she became a local hit. She appeared in amateur shows and was soon sought after as a paid entertainer. One of her first jobs was to sing on the Radio Progreso Cubana for one week; she also sang on Radio Unión for some months. Cruz sang, at first, because she needed money to buy food and school books. Later, however, a teacher told her that she should forget teaching and concentrate on singing. Cruz remembered the teacher's words in the New York Times: "You're going to sing because you'll earn more money in a day than I will in a month."

    At this point Cruz became serious about her musical career. Already noted for her pregón singing (a vocal style which evolved from the calls, chants, and cries of street vendors) and the songs "Manicero" and "El Pregón del Pescador," Cruz enrolled at the Conservatory of Music to study voice and theory. With her own good behavior, as well as her mother's help, Cruz persuaded her father once and for all that a career as a singer would not disgrace her or the family. As a student, she worked hard, and whenever she traveled to performances, a female relative accompanied her as a chaperone. After three years at the conservatory, Cruz was equipped with the skills necessary to succeed as a musician; her baggage also included the whole-hearted support of her family.

    Opens Career with Las Mulatas de Fuego
    At first, Cruz sang with the dancing troupe Las Mulatas de Fuego and kept the audience entertained while the dancers changed costumes. She also sang with the orchestra of Gloria Matancera. In 1949, she was hired to sing Yoruba songs at a radio station. Finally, in August of 1950, Cruz was chosen to replace Myrta Silva, the lead singer of La Sonora Matancera, Cuba's most popular orchestra. Although fans listening to Radio Progreso wrote angry letters about the replacement, they were soon won over to Cruz's style, and Cruz became a star. In early 1951, she began to release recordings such as "Cao Cao Mani Picao/Mata Siguaraya," "Yerboro," "Burundanga," and "Me Voy al Pinar del Rio."

    For 15 years, or Cruz's golden era, as it is called, Cruz sang with La Sonora Matancera. Headliners at Havana's world-famous Tropicana nightclub and casino, the group became popular enough to work on television and in movies as well as on radio. The orchestra appeared in five movies (Una Gallega en Habana, Olé Cuba, Rincón Criollo, Piel Canela, and Amorcito Corazón ) and toured the United States and Central and South America. La Sonora Matancera's fame and frequent tours served the individuals in the group well; when Fidel Castro took power after the 1959 revolution, they were able to escape Cuba by pretending that they were going on another tour, and they were welcomed abroad. From 1960 to late 1961, La Sonora Matancera entertained audiences in Mexico. Then, the orchestra packed up its act to enter the United States.

    Adapting to Exile
    Although the singer would come to love the United States, Cruz could never forget her homeland. She continues to remember it in song, but she cannot return to Cuba. Castro, angered by the singer's defection, would not even allow her to visit the country when her mother was sick, or when her father died. If Celia Cruz continues to be unhappy about her expatriation, she seems to have accepted the situation, and Hispanics have certainly shown their appreciation of her work in the United States. "If I die now," the singer stated in the New York Times in 1985, "I want to be buried here."

    As the New York Times remembered, Cruz's "early years in the United States were less than memorable; young Latinos were more interested in rock-and-roll than in music from the old country." Cruz had to work very hard to earn her fame in the United States. One good thing, however, did occur during those early years in America. On July 14, 1962, Cruz married Pedro Knight , the first trumpeter of La Sonora Matancera; she had known him for over 14 years. Knight has served as Cruz's protector, manager, and musical director ever since. He has helped her make important decisions and has provided enthusiastic support; he gave her the golden "Salsa" engraved earrings she still wears. In 1987, Louis Ramirez, an arranger of songs for Cruz, explained Knight's role in Cruz's professional life in the New York Times. "When discord arises on how best to sing or play a part, everyone turns to Pedro. Pedro presides quietly in a corner, with his arms crossed. After he hears us argue back and forth, he says "si' or "no.'"

    Although Cruz did not sell many records during the 1960s, her production was prolific. She signed with Seeco records and recorded 20 albums of La Sonora Matancera songs in just one year. These albums included Con Amor, La Reina del Ritmo Cubano, Grand Exitos de Celia Cruz, La Incomparable Celia, Mexico qué Grande Eres, Homenaje a los Santos, Sabor y Ritmo de Pueblos, Homenaje a Yemaya de Celia Cruz, Celia Cruz Interpreta El Yerbero y La Sopa en Botella, La Tierna, Conmovedora, Bamboleadora, and her most popular Seeco album, Canciónes Premiadas. After signing with Tico Records in 1966, the woman who would later be crowned the "Queen of Salsa" recorded 13 more albums, toured South America and the United States, and, just as importantly, began to work withTito Puente, a man who would come to be known as the "King of Latin Swing."

  9. #9
    Dragon
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    Puente recalled in the New York Times, "I was listening to the radio in Cuba the first time I heard Celia's voice. I couldn't believe the voice. It was so powerful and energetic. I swore it was a man, I'd never heard a woman sing like that." Cruz recorded eight of her 13 Tico albums with Puente, including Cuba y Puerto Rico Son, El Quimbo Quimbunbia, Alma con Alma, and Algo Especial Para Recordar. Cruz and Puente performed more than 500 times together before 1987, and countless times after.

    Interest in Salsa Grows among Young Hispanics
    It was not until the early 1970s that Cruz, the woman whom the New York Times would call "salsa's most celebrated singer," began to be appreciated by young Hispanics. She was chosen to play the role of Gracia Divina in the opera Hommy at Carnegie Hall in early 1973. Her remarkable voice and boundless energy captured the audience, which was just beginning to enjoy the new music called "salsa." Just as Cruz is not a limited performer, salsa is not a limited music: the word salsa can be used variously to describe guaracha, rhumba, merengue, and guaguanco rhythms. As Time magazine put it, salsa "is a catchall term that became current in the early '70's.... Instrumentation features piano brass, percussion (like the congas or the timbales).... The rhythm is often complex and layered, but at root there is a steady beat." Time also noted that "real salsa, old-country music [is] preserved in the persons of Cruz and Puente."

    Older fans who remembered their lives in Cuba were thrilled to hear the music of their youth as Celia Cruz sang to the salsa beat, and younger fans were genuinely enthusiastic about Cruz's fast-paced scatting. No one could help being impressed by Cruz's costume. She was and is a flamboyant dresser. Her usual costume involves feathers, sequins, or lace, and yards and yards of brightly colored fabric. Legend has it that Cruz never wears a costume twice, that each of her costumes costs more than the amount needed to produce one of her albums, and that some of her costumes have taken up a whole stage. Cruz herself acknowledges that some of her costumes prohibited other singers from comfortably moving around the stage. The exotic, outrageously flashy costumes Cruz wears reflect the energy she radiates as she performs.

    Listening to her music is not enough; to experience Cruz, one must be able to watch her as she illuminates the stage and fascinates her audience. She loves to sing powerfully and with a great deal of volume, and because of this she usually sings to large audiences in structures that can withstand the amplification. Celia Cruz is always animated and completely engaged in her performances. As a reviewer for the New York Times wrote, Cruz "leaps, dances, flaunts, flirts, and teases to the gyrating beat of salsa." Although Cruz has her serious, passionate moments, she is never predictable; one never knows when she will break into improvisation or joke with the audience and the band. Seemingly tireless, the singer has been known to perform at her explosive pace for more than three hours.

    After Cruz's contract with Tico Records expired, she took advantage of the opportunity to work with Johnny Pacheco, a long-time admirer of Cruz. Pacheco was a rumba band leader and a flutist of the charanga style. For Vaya Records, they revised Cruz's Sonora Matancera pieces to produce Celia and Johnny, which was released in 1974. This record, not surprisingly, went gold as Hispanics throughout the United States snatched it up. Tremendo Cache and Recordando El Ayer, Cruz's next collaborative albums, met with similar success, as did other albums she recorded on the Vaya label. Another album she recorded in 1974, with conga player Ray Barretto, won a Grammy Award.

    Cruz's popularity among Hispanics began to grow. Fans throughout the world went wild when she performed. During the 1970s, she sang in concert with Johnny Pacheco in the United States and with Tito Puente and members of the Fania All-Stars throughout Africa and France. The New York Daily News named her the best female vocalist in 1977 and 1979, and Billboard did the same in 1978; in polls conducted by Latin N.Y., the singer was similarly honored annually from 1975 to 1982.

    In 1982, Cruz was reunited with La Sonora Matancera, and the group released exciting new songs on their album Feliz Encuentro. Later that year, Cruz was the honored performer in a concert in Madison Square Garden. 20,000 people there, as well as television viewers throughout the world, watched and danced as she sang with those who had contributed to her career over the years: La Sonora Matancera, Tito Puente, Cheo Feliciano, Johnny Pacheco, Pete Rodríguez, and Willie Colón. Cruz was presented with a gold record (along with Ray Baretto and Adalberto Santiago) for their album Tremendo Trio by Fania Records in 1983.

    Remains a Busy Performer
    During the latter half of the 1980s, Cruz was as busy as ever. She met the demands of salsa fans, recorded albums, and gave concerts. In 1985, she sang with various groups and lit up the stage with music based on Yoruba religious chants which once praised West African deities. In 1986, Cruz was given an Ellis Island Medal of Honor, also known as the Mayor's Liberty Award, by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. In 1987, Vaya Records released Cruz's 53rd album, a collaboration with Willie Colón entitled The Winners. She performed in New York's Annual Salsa Festival at Madison Square Garden, and also won a fourth Grammy nomination, a New York Music Award for Best Latin Artist, and an Obie, or Off-Broadway award, that year.

    Among her many notable concerts was a 1988 tribute to Frank Grillo, or Machito, a musician who was essential to the development of Afro-Cuban jazz, and who had worked with Cruz for years. According to the New York Times, Cruz's performance was as dazzling as usual. Her "voice, piercing and intense, ripped through the glittery band arrangements; as an improviser, Miss Cruz phrases as if she were a drummer." Cruz gave a concert in Harlem on October 21, 1989, along with the Cuban jazz star Mario Bauza (and Machito's brother-in-law), Tito Puente, Chico O'Farill, Marco Rizo, Max Roach, and Henry Threadgill. The New York Times reported, "Mr. Bauza's band played one of his modernist compositions and Miss Cruz, who was celebrating her birthday, sang a set of her tunes, shouting out phrases with the authority of a trumpeter; she's one of the world's great singers, and she proved it again." Cruz ended the decade by earning another Grammy Award. In the Latin category, she won the Best Tropical Performance for Ritmo En El Corazon, the album she recorded with Ray Barretto.

    From Manhattan to Miami, salsa is a huge element of Hispanic youth culture. Popular singers such as Gloria Estefan, who says she was inspired by Cruz, base their songs on a salsa beat. Cruz explained the lure of salsa in Time magazine in 1988: "We've never had to attract these kids. They come by themselves. Rock is a strong influence on them, but they still want to know about their roots. The Cuban rhythms are so contagious that they end up making room for both kinds of music in their lives." According to Time, "young Cuban Americans have gathered to see the reigning Reina de la Salsa, Celia Cruz, who was entertaining their parents and their parents' parents in the smoky dens and fancy nightclubs of pre-Castro Cuba long before they were born." While Celia Cruz has changed with the times, some aspects of her performances have maintained themselves despite her age. She is still tireless, she continues to dress in fantastic gowns, and she will always enthrall those who see her.

    Although Celia Cruz has been exciting audiences since the late 1940s with her inexhaustible energy and her unique voice and has recorded more than 70 albums, she refuses to retire or even slow down. Cruz, who is over 70 years of age, was quoted as saying in the New York Times, "I have no choice, really, but to put in as much time and energy as I do. I have a lot more to do." Cruz, however, does wonder what things will be like after she can no longer sing, and wishes that more women would sing salsa. "Someday, I have to die," she mused in the New York Times. "I want people to say, 'Celia Cruz has died, but here is someone who can take over.'"

    In the meantime, Cruz keeps on performing and took home the 2000 Latin Grammy award for Best Salsa Performance.

  10. #10
    I'm 1 Hellified Chick!!!! Princess's Avatar Princess is offline
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    I just saw it on the evening news she was a great entertainer.....may she rest in peace

  11. #11
    God is my pilot Shandy 2.0's Avatar Shandy 2.0 is offline
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    She always performed with energy I like her music. May she rest in peace.
    "Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe." - Oprah Winfrey

    "If you keep believing in yourself and seek enthusiasm inside your soul, things will get simpler, more spontaneous." ~Paulo Coelho

    "I find your lack of faith disturbing" - Darth Vader

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit
    the floor each morning the devil says:
    "Oh Crap, She's up!"

  12. #12
    Junior Member darkhalo is offline
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    Celia Cruz Passed Away

    Don't know if this was posted already but Celia Cruz Queen of Salsa has passsed away.
    News Article Here

  13. #13
    SoCa ADdIcT-nEeD aH fIx CaribGyrl's Avatar CaribGyrl is offline
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    ya know I thought I heard about this on the radio this morning but I wasn't too sure. She was like a legend...I know she will be missed.

  14. #14
    He loves me! bagolicious's Avatar bagolicious is offline
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    who dat..i lost...

  15. #15
    twins in full gleee slimgyal's Avatar slimgyal is offline
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    Originally posted by bagolicious
    who dat..i lost...
    that's de spanish singing oman.. use to play with tito puenta..


    condolences to her family...

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