Celia Cruz “La Negra tiene Tumbao”

One thing is for sure: When I grow up I want to be like my two favorite divas, Ella Fitzgerald and Celia Cruz. Now that I think about it they both have a lot in common (great idea for a future blog)… This particular post is about Celia Cruz.

I was over-thinking Latin music, again. This time my reflection on Musica Latina happened during an interesting conversation with hyper-talented music producer Gordon Williams, also known as “Commissioner”. We talked about Latin Divas and he pointed Celia Cruz as the last authentic Diva of Latin music. Then it hit me, he was right. Celia was and is something else. With a career that spanned over 6 decades, La Guarachera de Cuba showed us what a force of nature she was, how unique and ageless her performances and music could be. Very few musical careers transcend time the way hers did. Very few female singers in any genre, defy the stigmata of age in the way Celia Cruz did. She wore her age as her badge of honor; she knew she was a good wine, better with time. She knew how to reinvent herself. This made her without a doubt one of the most strong characters in Latin Music, despite her gender. Her legacy is here to stay.

Now… Celia Cruz passed away in 2003. We have had almost over ten years without a strong face in Latin music except for Shakira, who according to Gordon’s correction is more on the Pop Star realm. I have my fingers crossed and hope to see a future generation of more real Latin Music divas, sooner than later.

Here I will leave you with “La Negra tiene Tumbao” (translated into something like “the black lady has mojo”). Celia did had Major Mojo: With her fabulous and colorful fun wigs, flamboyant outfits trying hip-hop influenced tunes; another evidence of Celia’s bravery and willingness to embrace new things. She was a fierce Showmen or even better Show-Woman.  I think that fierceness is what kept her always fresh and active as a singer and is the reason why we will always love La Guarachera de Cuba Celia Cruz.

Enjoy the video.

Andre Veloz

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