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Celia Cruz: A life of music, color, and 'azucar' (+video)

The Google doodle today honors Cuban singer Celia Cruz, who racked up an impressive list of accolades in her long career. 

Celia Cruz
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The Google homepage today is dominated by an illustration of Celia Cruz, the Cuban singer the New York Times once dubbed a "petite powerhouse" with a "tough, raspy voice that could ride the percussive attack of a rumba." Mr. Cruz was born in 1925, in a rough neighborhood of Havana, Cuba; she began making music in the late 1940s, when she was still in her early twenties. 

By the time of her death, in 2003, she had recorded an estimated 70 albums. In some ways, her substantial musical legacy can be measured by the accolades and honors that piled up in her wake. Among them are a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP; a string of Grammy and Latin Grammy awards (and even more nominations); and a citation, in 2005, from the Guinness Book of World Records for the "Longest Working Career as Salsa Artist." 

The United States Postal Service gave her a commemorative postage stamp. Last year, the National Museum of American History, in Washington, gave her a portrait. 

"As a rare female member of a band, she was a musical chameleon, able to master many different genres of Afro-Caribbean songs," reps for the museum wrote at the time. "Over the course of a career that spanned six decades and took her from humble beginnings in Cuba to a world-renowned artist, Cruz became the undisputed 'Queen of Latin Music.' Combining a piercing and powerful voice with a larger-than-life personality and stage costumes, she was one of the few women to succeed in the male-dominated world of Salsa music." 


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