Celia Cruz Will Be First Afro-Latina to Appear on U.S. Quarter Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands

The late Cuban-American salsa singer Celia Cruz has been selected to appear in the American quarters later this year, making history as the first Afro-Latina to receive the honor.

Cruz is a beloved icon in Cuban music and is widely admired for his contributions. Guaracha and genres of salsa. In addition to his colorful looks and infectious charisma, Cruz is known worldwide for his chants of “Azúcar!” Most recognized for.

The term, which translates to “sugar”, became a trademark expression for the singer, and appears regularly in modern-day salsa songs. The saying later became a symbolic memory of enslaved Africans who worked on Cuban sugar plantations.

His other hits, such as “La Vida es in Carnival” and “La Negra Tiene Tambao,” ranged from merengue to reggaeton and rumba. He recorded a total of 37 albums, and while he stayed mostly in the music realm, Cruise also starred in movies like 1992’s “The Mambo Kings.”

Cruise died of brain cancer in 2003 at the age of 77. Before her death, salsa artists Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan performed a tribute called “¡Celia Cruz: Azúcar!”, which was Cruz’s last public performance. The event featured musical performances by Victor Manuel, Paulina Rubio, Patti LaBelle and Gloria Gaynor, to name a few.

The move to commemorate the singer on a quarter comes as part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women’s Quarters program for 2024, which also includes bids for four other honorees: Patsy Takemoto Munk, service in Congress; first woman of color to perform; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War surgeon and suffragist; Paulie Murray, civil rights activist and attorney; and Zitkala-sha, a voting rights activist.

“All women are honored who have lived remarkable and multi-faceted lives, and in their own unique ways have made a significant impact on our nation,” said Ventres C. Gibson, director of the dedication, in the official announcement. “Women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not fought the status quo. By honoring these important women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins that are miniature works of art in your pocket.” are like.”

Designs for the 2024 US Women’s Quarters will be released in mid-2023.

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