Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, known as Celia Cruz, was a Cuban singer and one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century. Cruz rose to fame in Cuba during the 1950s as a singer of guarachas, earning the nickname "La Guarachera de Cuba". In the following decades, she became known internationally as the "Queen of Salsa" or "The Queen of Latin Music" due to her contributions to Latin music in the United States.
She began her career in her native Cuba, earning recognition as a vocalist of the popular musical group Sonora Matancera, a musical association that lasted fifteen years. Cruz mastered a wide variety of Afro-Cuban music styles including guaracha, rumba, afro, son and bolero, recording numerous singles in these styles for Seeco Records. In the early 1960s, after the Cuban Revolution caused the nationalization of the music industry, Cruz left her native country, becoming one of the symbols and spokespersons of the Cuban community in exile. Cruz continued her career, first in Mexico, and then in the United States, the country that she took as her definitive residence.
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