Iconic ‘Queen of Salsa’ Celia Cruz To Become First Afro-Latina Face To Be Featured On The U.S. Quarter

by Gee NY

In 2024, the iconic Celia Cruz will become the first Afro-Latina face featured on a U.S. quarter, part of the American Women Quarters series celebrating influential women.

The “Queen of Salsa” will join the ranks of suffragettes, civil rights defenders, abolitionists, and scientists honored for their historical impact.

Known globally as one of the first crossover Latin artists, Cruz, who passed away two decades ago at the age of 78, left an enduring legacy.

Recognized for her contributions to Latin music, Cruz received numerous accolades, including several Grammy and Latin Grammy awards. In 1994, she was honored with the National Medal of Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors.

Cruz’s influence extended beyond her music career. A black and Cuban artist, she took pride in her Afro-Latina heritage and was the first Black Latina to sing in Spanish on American television and perform at Carnegie Hall.

Celia Cruz honored at the 45th Grammy Awards in 2003. Image credit: NY Daily News via Getty Images

The upcoming quarter featuring Celia Cruz is a testament to her trailblazing role in the music industry and her cultural significance.

The American Women Quarters series aims to celebrate diverse women who have shaped history and culture in the United States.

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