¡Azúcar! Celia Cruz, “Queen of Salsa,” Honored with Google Doodle on 88th Birthday

Google Doodle - Celia Cruz

Latin music legend Celia Cruz honored with Google Doodle, October 21, 2013

Hailed by Billboard Magazine as “indisputably the best known and most influential female figure in the history of Cuban music,” Celia Cruz ‘s rich legacy lives on a decade after her death.

To celebrate her life and what would have been her 88th birthday, the Google Doodle for October 21, 2013 features the legend illustrated in all her extravagant, colorful glory.

Watch: Celia Cruz – “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” Official Music Video

Renowned internationally as “La Reina de Salsa” (“The Queen of Salsa”), Cruz’s career includes collaborations with Latin music greats such as the late Tito Puente and Fania All-Stars bandleader Johnny Pacheco , whose group she joined after their hit collaboration, Celia y Johnny (1974).

Known for her trademark shout “¡Azúcar!” (“Sugar!”), Cruz recorded over 70 albums, 23 of which went gold.

She won seven Grammy awards including one for Best Tropical Latin Performance for her song with another salsa legend Ray Barretto , “Ritmo en el Corazon” (1989). In 1994, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton .

Listen: Ray Barretto – Ritmo En EL Corazon

On July 16, 2003, Cruz died of brain cancer at her home in Fort Lee, New Jersey, at the age of 77. She was survived by her husband, Pedro Knight who died February 3, 2007.

After her death, her body was taken to Miami’s Freedom Tower, where more than 200,000 fans paid their final respects.

About the author  ⁄ theComplex

Editor-in-Chief at Sinuous Magazine, designer, and founder of NYC-based boutique design firm theComplex Media & Design. I've been designing for 14 years, writing on the internet for about the same, and I appear on radio and podcasts under the name "Lanaé Mc'Levans." Photographer and overall geek who is passionate about art, music, politics, technology, fashion, and women's issues. A serial day-dreamer. Foul-mouthed. Opinionated.