Cuban singer (1925-2003)
Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso (October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003), known as Celia Cruz, was a Cuban singer.
- I never talk about age, but I was born singing. My mother, Catalina, told me that at 9 or 10 months of age I’d wake up in the middle of the night, 2 or 3 in the morning, singing "esta muchachita va a trabajar de noche". Pues la viejita no se equivocó.
- 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.
- On what she hopes for her audience in “CELIA CRUZ: AT THE TOP OF SALSA” in New York Times (1985 Nov 19).
- Women are afraid to sing salsa…I don't know why; maybe they think it's for men. I am not a composer, or a soneo, a singer and a poet, which is very difficult. But I think everybody can sing everything.
- On the gender stereotypes surrounding salsa singers in “CELIA CRUZ: AT THE TOP OF SALSA” in New York Times (1985 Nov 19).
- Everybody looks at Celia Cruz and thinks, she is very happy…But I don't have a mother, a father, I don't have a country - I only have Pedro.
- On just having her husband and not being able to return to Cuba when her parents died in “CELIA CRUZ: AT THE TOP OF SALSA” in New York Times (1985 Nov 19)
- I was having dinner at a restaurant in Miami, and when the waiter offered me coffee, he asked me if I took it with or without sugar…I said, ‘Chico, you’re Cuban. How can you even ask that? With sugar!’
- On the origin of her catchphrase "Azúcar"; from a 2000 interview quoted in “Celia Cruz, 77; Queen of Salsa’s Passing Marks the End of a Musical Era” in Los Angeles Times (2003 Jul 17).
- The quote is discussed in Why Did Celia Cruz Say, "Azúcar"? in the Smithsonian Music Channel.