You cannot be Hispanic and not know who Celia Cruz is.  You cannot love Salsa and not appreciate Celiz Cruz’s work.  You cannot listen to her music without feeling her passion through her songs.  Cuban born Celia Cruz is known throughout the world of music as La Reina de la Salsa and I couldn’t agree more.  I don’t think there is any salsera that even comes close to taking her title or at least living up to her legacy.

Growing up, Celia was one of the more dominant musicians listened to in my family.  My mother even had the pleasure of seeing her perform live back in Puerto Rico.  I am grateful to have at least been alive during a portion of her time.  I remember seeing her on Univisión commercials and, between my mom, aunts, and grandma, I heard her music all the time.  I am so appreciative for at least that.

Although she passed away in 2003, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that Celia Cruz still lives on.  Her music is still played on TV and radio stations, while “La Vida es un Carnaval” has become an anthem for Latinos everywhere.  By promoting positivity and progress through her music, Celia remains in the hearts of her fans and that is not going to change anytime soon.  Like I said before, she is still La Reina de la Salsa and she simply cannot be replaced.

R.I.P. Celia Cruz

October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003


About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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