New Celia Cruz Commemorative Album Celebrates Queen of Salsa’s Upcoming 100th Birthday


June 5, 2024

A rare live recording of Celia Cruz was discovered and has just been released in time to celebrate the salsa legend’s 100th birthday, Billboard reports.

South Florida radio personality Albertico Rodríguez, who emceed many of Cruz’s shows, had recorded one of Cruz’s live performances at the now-defunct Casanova Club in Miami in the 1980s. He’d completely forgotten about his recording until one day while cleaning out his closet, he found the audio reel he’d made of Cruz’s show.

“Not only was the recording quality great, but it had hits like ‘Quimbara.’” said Nelson Albareda, the CEO of Loud and Live, which represents the Celia Cruz estate. Albareda digitized the reel and recently released the live recording for all to hear as an album titled En Vivo: 100 Años de Azúcar


En Vivo: 100 Años de Azúcar has been released in digital format, as a standard vinyl, and as a limited edition collector’s box set that includes a coffee table book and exclusive photographs of Cruz. The album features nine tracks, including Cruz’s signature song “Químbara” as the lead single.

Celia Cruz was born on October 15, 1925, in Havana, Cuba, and rose to fame as one of the most popular Latin singers of the 20th century. Known as “The Queen of Salsa,” Cruz has been awarded multiple GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY Awards, and her career as a singer, songwriter, actor, and activist has made her one of the most revered Afro Latina artists of all time.


Cruz died of cancer on July 16, 2003, at 77 years old. Now, almost 21 years after her death and in celebration of Cruz’s impending 100th birthday, her voice will ring loud once more. 

“When she died, I made it a mission to defend the legacy of this unique woman for the rest of my life so her brilliant work wouldn’t be forgotten,” said Pardillo Cid, Cruz’s longtime manager and friend. “This project, the first to commemorate her centennial, is another example of Celia’s immortality.”

The new live album will be only the second live recording of the legendary artist released since her passing. The U.S. Mint also honored Cruz’s birthday by releasing a new quarter depicting her face in August as part of the American Women Quarters Program, making her the first Afro-Latina to receive the honor


“The recording truly conveys and reminds us of the raw energy and power that Celia had on stage,” says Albareda. “Through this release, we seek to continue to celebrate the power, global influence, and legacy of Celia, and the impact she made through her live performances all throughout the world.”

100 Años de Azúcar was released on May 24, 2024, by Loud and Live Studios and distributed by indie distributor InnerCat.

Cover Photo: New Celia Cruz Commemorative Album Celebrates Queen of Salsa’s Upcoming 100th Birthday / Photo credit: Westbury Arts


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