For Black History Month, KEXP asked our specialty show DJs to pick an outstanding African American artist in their genre. DJ Chilly, host of El Sonido on KEXP, recommends the “Queen of Salsa,” Celia Cruz.
Born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso de la Santísima Trinidad in 1925, this Afro-Cuban superstar wisely went by the name Celia Cruz. She’s been crowned “The Queen of Latin Music” for helping pioneer the genre of salsa in the 20th century. Over seventy albums, seven Grammys awards and countless other honors and collaborations attest to the legacy and influence of this charismatic performer known to shout “¡Azúcar! during her live shows.