Retrospective Traces Celia Cruz's Life From Havana to Stardom.
By Teresa Wiltz. Washington Post Staff Writer. Wednesday, May 18, 2005.
To describe Celia Cruz is to invoke hyperbole: She was La Reina de Salsa , the Queen of Salsa, she was thunder and lightning, she was a force of Mama Nature wrapped in chocolate skin, broad of nose and broader of smile, a woman for whom joy was everything and the only thing. When she growled her trademark " Azúcar! ", you knew that she was talking about much more than sugar, but referring as well to her ancestors, slaves who worked the sugar fields of Cuba, of escaping hard times, of an approach to living: The sweeter, the better.
Life was made that much sweeter by some ghetto-fabulous wigs, over-the-top duds and shoes that would do Imelda proud. So much so that at her wake in Miami, there were pauses in the action so that la Reina could make two final costume changes. She would've wanted it that way.
And now, nearly two years after her death from brain cancer, the National Museum of American History has launched a retrospective, "Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz," spanning the Cuban singer's six-decade career as a much-adored singer. She made more than 80 recordings and collected five Grammys, the Presidential Medal of Arts and three honorary doctorates. Curated by Marvette Perez, the exhibition will travel the country....