NEW YORK (PIX11) – “The Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz has received more honors to add to her list of achievements.  

Earlier this month, Mattel released a Celia Cruz Barbie that was first designed in 2021. She will also be featured on a U.S. quarter in 2024 as part of the American Women Quarters Program. 

“A dazzling performer of many genres of Afro-Caribbean music, Celia Cruz had a powerful contralto voice, energetic stage presence, and a unique style that endeared her to fans from different nationalities and across generations,” a statement on the Mattel website read. 

Cruz was born in Havana, Cuba in 1925.  

Her first recordings were made in 1948 and in 1950. Her professional career started when she began singing with the celebrated Cuban orchestra, The Sonora Matancera, after Myrta Silva returned to Puerto Rico.  

She then went on to have a successful solo career. 

“The Queen of Salsa” released over 70 albums and sold millions of records in a career that spanned more than 50 years. Cruz won five Grammy Awards, Four Latin Grammys, and a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. 

A new sign for Celia Cruz Way hangs on a pole, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Cruz also had a significant impact in the Bronx, where two streets and a music-oriented high school are named after her.  

The singer passed away of cancer in 2003. 

Matthew Euzarraga is a multimedia journalist from El Paso, Texas. He has covered local news and LGBTQIA topics in the New York City Metro area since 2021. He joined the PIX11 Digital team in 2023. You can see more of his work here.