LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES
Celia Cruz Dies
Aired July 16, 2003 - 19:55 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: In the world of salsa tonight, there is sad news. The queen is dead. Celia Cruz, called the queen of salsa, died tonight at her home.
CNN's Maria Hinojosa fills us in on just how Celia Cruz became musical royalty.
MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Around the world, she was known as la rena de la salsa, the queen of salsa. There were so many Celia Cruz trademarks. "A Sucer (ph)," or "Sugar," was her signature chant.
Her outfits, one more outrageous, more outlandish than the next. Her hair color, unpredictable, hairstyles that broke ground. That fabulous, unforgettable, gap-toothed smile. And her decades-old inseparable relationship with her musician husband, Pedro Knight (ph).
Celia Cruz, la voyachera del mundo (ph), was guaranteed to make her audiences move.
AURORA FLORES, MUSICOLOGIST: American audiences, when they first saw her, she was already a senior person. So with Celia, when American audience saw this elderly woman on stage, with these very voluptuous outfits that showed off her zaftig, curved body, and then dancing up a storm, and these very sensual movements while she's singing at this rapid-fire taka-taka-taka pace, with words, she was incredible.
HINOJOSA: Celia Cruz was a groundbreaker, one of the first female singers to headline a salsa band, one of the first black Latina women to achieve worldwide recognition. She won seven Grammys, three honorary doctorates, including one from Yale University.
A final trademark, Celia Cruz always said she would die onstage singing. It was the one dream that didn't come true por la gran (ph) Celia Cruz.
Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Long live the queen.
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