Entertainment

25 Azúcar Facts About Celia Cruz That Will Make You Love Her Even More

Celia Cruz was the Cuban-American singer who brought color and soul to the world. As the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century, Cruz has taken on various nicknames including the “Queen of Salsa”, “La Guarachera de Cuba”, as well as “The Queen of Latin Music”. Throughout her career, the Cuban-native spread a message of artistic freedom and gained the love and devotion of fans that spread well beyond the Cuban community.

Here are the top 25 facts you didn’t know about her.

1. There’s a story behind her ¡Azúcar! line.

celia cruz
CREDIT: @celiacruzonline/ Instagram

Celia Cruz explained in an interview how she came up with the term when a waiter asked her what she wanted in her coffee. “I was having dinner at a restaurant in Miami, and when the waiter offered me coffee, he asked me if I took it with or without sugar. I said, ‘Chico, you’re Cuban. How can you even ask that? With sugar!’ And that evening during my show… I told the audience the story and they laughed. And one day, instead of telling the story, I simply walked down the stairs and shouted ‘Azucar!’”

2. Her first name was Úrsula

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline/ Instagram

The Queen of Latin Music was born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso. I mean how much more Latino can you get?

3. She started off singing by learning santería songs.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Despite the fact that she grew up in a very Catholic household, Celia Cruz learned santería songs as a child from neighbors who practiced.

4. Celia Cruz also sang Yoruba.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

The West African language was one she mastered with her colleague and santería singer Merceditas Valdés.

5. She also sang in cabarets as a teen.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Cruz’s tía would take her to cabarets to sing and perform. Even when her father protested.

6. She sang on the radio as a contestant for a daily competition.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

The competitions often earned her cakes and opportunities to perform in more contests.

7. Cruz’s father didn’t want her to be a singer because it was looked down upon.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Being a singer wasn’t a career that was viewed with a lot of respect at the time. Still, when Cruz went to school to become a literature teacher, a professor of hers told her that as a teacher she could potentially earn a teacher’s monthly salary in just one day.

8. Her life in Venezuela was key for kicking off her career.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Cruz’s first recordings were produced during her time in Venezuela in 1948.

9. There were fourteen kids in her family.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Celia was the oldest in her family of fourteen kids. As the oldest, she often put her brothers and sisters to sleep by singing to them.

10. Fidel Castro blocked her from returning to Cuba.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

When the dictator assumed power over her home country she was prohibited from returning.

11. She was blocked again years later.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

In 1962, after her mother’s death, Cruz attempted to return for her funeral but the government denied her request.

12. Bill Clinton gave her an award.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Cruz was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994.

13. Her style grabbed the attention of museums.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Cruz’s flamboyant costumes were so famous that the Smithsonian Institution acquired one of her rumba dresses.

14. She has multiple Grammies

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

The singer won 5 Grammies throughout her lifetime.

15. She also won a few Grammies posthumously.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

In 2004, a year after her death, Celia won an award for Best Salsa Album. In 2016 the artist won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for her achievements and the dedication that she put into her career.

16. She a member of quite a few hall of fames.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

A few among them include International Latin Music Hall of Fame, New Jersey Hall Fame, and Billboards Latin Music Hall of Fame.

17. She took a bit of Cuba with her for her funeral.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Cuban soil which she’d brought with her from her visit to Guantánamo Bay was used in her entombment.

18. She’s on a US postage stamp.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

On March 16, 2011, the United States Postal Service honored her with a commemorative postage stamp.

19. She also acted.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

During her time with Sonora Matancera, Cruz made various cameos in Mexican films such as “Una gallega en La Habana” and “Amorcito Corazón.”

20. She would have rocked Coachella.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

This is especially true considering that the Cubana performed to a packed house at New York City’s Central Park SummerStage outdoor performing arts festival.

21. Cruz passed away in New Jersey.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

The artist who managed to introduce Afro-Latino music and culture to nearly every corner of the world passed away in Fort Lee New Jersey at the age of 77.

22. After her death she was commemorated by over 200,000 fans.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

After she passed away from brain cancer, the singer’s body was taken to Miami’s Freedom Tower. There over 200,000 fans paid final respects to her.

23. Vigils were held across the globe in her honor.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Havana, Cuba, Miami, Florida and Cali, Colombia were just a few of the countries that honored her after her death.

24. She was buried in The Bronx.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Celia Cruz’s husband was buried in the same mausoleum as her in 2007.

25. She never had children.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Celia Cruz had been focused largely on her career as a music artist and never had children of her own.


Read: Stacey Dash Is Known For Disparaging Communities Of Color And Now She Wants To Represent Them In Congress

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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