Julio César By Héctor Ramírez Bedoya President Corporation Club Sonora Matancera de Antioquia
Like every female star that is respected , Celia Cruz never revealed the true date of her birth . In a program of television he replied jokingly that she was born on 21 October one thousand nine hundred … dot com. After to obtain their registration of birth , with no little difficulty, we learned that he came into the world on October 21, 1925. His full name is Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso, second daughter of Simón Cruz and Catalina Alfonso. Habanera from the humble neighborhood of Santos Suárez , and came to the world in the house marked with the number 47 of Serrano Street , almost corner of Enamorados . His middle brothersThey were Dolores Ramos la mayor, Bárbaro and Gladys Jiménez . She was the second .
His father was a stoker of the railroad and his mother Catherine performing the tasks of the home . Ramón , his maternal grandfather , was a soldier of the Cuban army , who fought against Spain at the beginning of the century in the warof independence . All the family professed the religion Catholic . For this , Celia craved from child learn to read it more soon possible to learn the catechism and to make the first communion , who performed in the church La Milagrosa , in his neighborhood Santos Suarez . At schoolPublic number six , Republic of Mexico , received his first teachings and there he learned to sing the anthems of Cuba and Mexico .
Being child and participated with his singing on a set called The Button of Oro, which was directed by one lord to whom nicknamed Sparrowhawk and thatI played the maribula . Her parents wanted her to study for a normal teacher and enrolled her in the Academy of the Oblate Sisters, where she studied typing , shorthand and English . Then he moved to the Escuela Normal, in which he obtained his diploma teacher . Celia alternated her studies withHis fondness for singing and dance . With his friends frequented some sites of dance as The Youth of the Vals , The Eagles , Los Tulipanes and The Antilla . From this time he begins to teach his playfulness and his body of palm .
The paternal house was big enough to be able tohouse 14 people, because they also lived with them , the Aunt Nena and cousin Serafin with their respective families . Earning money for the daily livelihoodof this battalion was a titanic task . At the graduation of master normalista in the school of La Habana , he decides not to exercise such activity
on the advice of a teacher . She poses the following dilemma : “Dedicate yourself to the song that is your thing . With luck you win on a day so that one teacher earns in one month , “ . And with determination he welcomes the song as his future activity. Like all young he liked the film and its actorsPreferred were Shirley Temple, Lily Pons, The Lone Ranger and Tito Guizar . The cousin Serafin Diaz , knowing of his qualities vocal , the part of a contest Amateur Radio García Serra, who was called The Time of the tea . He sang the tango of Cadícamo and Cobián , Nostalgias . He won a delicious cakeand four weeks after it won the final of the competition , and was awarded with one small chain of silver to the dazzled , it never had had anything similar . We talked about 1938.
In 1939 he also participatesin the competition for beginners called Los Reyes de la Conga, organized by the radio station RadioLavin , in which one jury of luxury built by Rita Montaner , Rodrigo Prats and Gonzalo Roig , will confer the award of gold . Participates after the promoted program of the supporters of station CMQ ., The Court Supreme of the Arts , who was listening night to night in all theNation and abroad . It was a true cradle of singers . She sang a duet with another young of name Vilma Valle, the issues Arrepentida and Mango Mangue . They won first prize in one of the editions of the remembered contest . The CMQ began to use it in your program StarsNascent , which set the Sunday afternoons. He already received fees , which although few , he spent on the purchase of the simple needs of his home . He began to structure his future professional life . The maestro Enrique Gonzalez Mantici , directed the orchestra of plant
of Radio Mil Díez , former Radio Lavín , a station that belonged to the nascent Popular Socialist Party ( PSP ). There and Olga Guillot and Elena Burke, acted Celia for some time and made several tours by the various cities important of the island . The following year he works at the RHC Cadena stationBlue with pianist Isolina Carrillo, who he advised that the voice of contralto that is , the music that should sing is the afrocubana . Le mounts numbers like Mango Mangue and do come the rumberos . He also sings in Galician Artistic. Obdulio Morales was a pianist and director of
orchestra habanero that with his group in the decade of 40, he enlivened the programming of Radio Cadena Suaritos . In addition it aprestigiaba as one historian musical and dictated conferences on the music afrocubana . In 1947 Celia Cruz, works with maestro Obdulio and his orchestra . Make your original recordingsaccompanied by the Yoruba Choirsof Alberto Zayas : Changó and Babalú Ayé . In the choir is Merceditas Valdés . For this same time he recorded his only song with the Gloria Matancera Ensemble : Ocanosordi , a number that the Sonora would popularize with the voice of Welcome Granda . He continued his fight for
carve out a place of artistic preponderancein the farandulero environment . The competition of the ensembles with the orchestras was intense . The voices female and male they swarmed by everywhere and the poor are going leaving the rear . Fortunately there were countless places of revelry in which theArtists , at the end of hard work , got the livelihood of their families , because to get rich was very difficult . It needed to be international and travel to the abroad , in which he paid with valuable notes green , which yesterday as today , governing all the economiesof the planet .
Celia Caridad also recordedin 1947 four tracks with Ernesto Duarte and his Orchestra : 1. The cumbanchero , the Afro theme of Rafael Hernández 2. Mambé that has DRA 3. The mazucamba , an Afro rumba of the missing Orlando de la Rosa. 4. Stay black , lament afro, original of the pianist Facundo Rivero .
As we noted , all the issues have tendency afronegroide , by the race of the singer , as well as by their cadence and setting musical.
Roderico Neira , Rodney, the well-known choreographer who madethe Tropicana cabaret shows famous , met Celia and in 1948 took her to Mexico and Venezuela with the spectacular dancersLas Mulatas de Fuego, with the magazine entitled Symphony in Black and White. In Mexico they performed for three months at the El Zombie cabaret. Then they wentto the homeland of Bolivar and for two months they adorned the shows of La Taberna del Silencio in Caracas. Rafael Sotolongo the publicist of Crusellas and Company , was also a
thriving entrepreneur , that at the hearing that the singer of the Sonora Matancera , Myrta Silva was going to New York, thought that the voice of Celia could be coupled perfectly to the set . With Rodney, he recommended it to the director of the group Don Rogelio Martínez , who toldhim to leavea phone writtenIn which the could locate , to invite her to a test of who did all the days to the 11 am in the studios of Radio Progreso .
As in his house, Celia had phone , supplied the number of one shop in the corner , for which there would communicate his appointmentDefinitive with the story . A few days went by and the magic call to sing two songs that I had prepared was not carried out . He came to think that his illusions had been ventured. But Don Rogelio is remembered for her and called , giving the appointment to the two daysfollowing . When he arrived at Radio Progreso with thirty minutes in advance the time indicated , to the first that found in the hall of the trials , was exactly Peter Knight, the second trumpet , who years more later would be her husband . The initial pages that Celia had to interpretwith the set were At the time of the colony and
We don’t want chaperones . To the arranger of the set Severino Ramos, he had medium difficulty adapting them , because they were made for an orchestral format. But his musical future was played and linked to the fate of the Matancera Sonora and the first dayfrom the month of August 1950, which was Tuesday , he began his brilliantmusical career next to the Dean of the Sets of America .
No was one pear in sweet the beginning , because the audience Cuban would professed to Myrta Silva one idolatry . Many letters arrivedat the hands of Don Rogelio with the critical messageof the new singer . Other obituaries insulting received the same Celia. Out of necessity and with stoicism he endured this avalanche , which caused him many tears . Also lived moments of misfortune , because the cousin Serafin , hispromoter musical household , he not reached to savor the victory, because he died for these days . He continued the performances live seven to eight of the junket in Radio Progreso with the Sonora Matancera . Little by little it was tilling cautiously its clientele . Although his dark and thin figureHe was not captivating , his voice was an amalgam of shades groomed by the gods of the Caribbean .
When they were about to make the first two recordings , another problem arose. Mr. Sidney Seegel , the powerful tycoon drives Seeco , believed that the voice of Celia was notcommercial . Always looking at the weights sign . Don Rogelio left the Quito and said that if he did not sponsor her in the first acetate , Sonora would . Cao cao peanut picao , Guaracha by Estanislao Serviá and reverse Mata siguaraya , afro of the pianist of the Lino Frías group , were the twoInitial recordings of Celia with Matancera , made in the studios of the CMQ the day 15 of December 1950. Then of them could use any number of topics , for example Tatalibabá , Ritmo tambó and flowers , The bus , which was recorded in 1951.
In this same year , the Sonora performs threetrips to Haiti , in which he enjoyed from one fanbase captive to any test . There , Celia meets the native singer, Martha Jean Claude, cultivator of folklore in her country . A sincere friendship germinates between the two that survived for a long time . Celia invites her to her island withexpenses paid , so you can try your luck on the Cuban floorboards. In the following year , Martha Jean, crystallized his invitation and since then his meteoric career musical spent in La Perla de Las Antillas , in which also he married a Cuban , entroncando one family that today is onePride on the island .
By this time Celia was ennoviada with the bassist Alfredo León , son of Welcome Leon , member of the applauded National Septet. Celia Cruz with Sonora is converted into magnet for box office on where you want to be present . By the popularity that he threw up the issueBurundanga , Celia is brought to Colombia, for presentations on radio , with accompaniment of orchestras of time . This happened in the last two weeks of October 1954. Its profits in cash , the invested in one modest home , your first home itself , to which his familyimprove the situation and moved to the neighborhood of Lawton.
Because of its popularity , Celia was required for the recording of numerous commercials of soaps , cigarettes , cheeses , coffees , soft drinks , beers , etc. This gave him another appellation , The Queen of the Jingles.
With the Sonora comes for the first timeto Colombia in February 1955. They operate in the main cities : Barranquilla , Cartagena, Medellín , Cali and Bogotá . Of new Celia Cruz in Medellin he has contact with the teacher Lucho Bermúdez and his wife and singer Matilde Diaz , known three years old back in La Havana . Then they apadrinaría to yourFirstborn Gloria María .
In the same year , with Sonora and Nelson Pinedo , Celia acts in the film , Una Gallega in Havana , with Garrido and Piñero and Niní Marshall. Dressed celia gala , exhibits her body as a palm tree . The firstcolor film made in Cuba, was called Yambao .It was filmed in 1956; It was a Cuban-Mexican coproduction. The star was Ninón Sevilla and there also worked our Celia Cruz. With Matancera and Celio González they work in the film Olé Cuba, where Celia is wearing that tremendous guaracha I ‘m going to Pinar del Río .
In May 1957, she won the Gold Record at the Puerto Rico Theater in New York City, for the success obtained with the recording of Burundanga . In December , broadcasters, chroniclers and the people vote for her as the best typical singer of the year . He alsoworks as the protagonist of a costumist theater called Baby Ney, with the fashion gallant Ernesto Galindo. They performed it on Radio Progreso . The fruits of his artistic work were summarized in the purchaseof a six- storey building in a central Havana neighborhood . The economic narrowness belonged to the past.
Sonora in 1958 without going to Puerto Rico and is accompanied by the Orchestra of César Concepción, which alternates with Cortijo and his Combo, when Ismael Rivera was in its fullness, in impressive performances in the cabaret Flamboyán. From there , our artist flies to Los Angeles, required by the delusional and numerousLatin colony , which applauded it at the Million Dollar Theater and the Hollywood Palladium, accompanied by a large orchestra prepared for that occasion .
When the Matancera goes to the carnivals of Caracas in 1958, she leads as singers Nelson Pinedo , Carlos Argentino and Celia Cruz. At some point of outburst and decision , El Ruso, Carlos Argentino, proposes marriage to Celia Cruz. The proposal was so filmy and far – fetched, that there himselfIt floated in the environment . Years later, the Argentine would regret not having insisted on his flirting.
On Tuesday , May 10, 1960 Celia recorded for the last time with the Sonora in her Cuban homeland . They appear topics as : My green crocodile, Bachame, The heladero, leather rings, Proclamations of San Cristobal. He reached the date of departure terrible his beloved Cuba, Friday July 15, 1960. It was first the future economic thatThanks to God, the music was for him , that an
uncertain well-being that promised the revolution established. Celia joined in this way to the nourished group of artists Cubans in exile. At three months , in October , the new government of Cuba had canceled his passport for not having returned to the island in time regulation. She remembered the prophetic words of Don Rogelio , the group’s director, when they flew on the plane to Mexico : This trip has no return ticket. Although little mattered the five dollars that each of the musicians had in their pockets. It was the maximum amount of cash that at that time , the government allowed him to take out his citizens. Somewhat later , his Havanabuilding would be expropriated by orders of the new government estate.
In the city ofMexico is invited by the dazzling star María Félix, so that with Sonora Matancera she will entertain in her mansion, a select party in honor of the president of the Aztec country , Gustavo Díaz Ordaz.
The Puerto Rico Theater in the city of New York presented a full to burst that Friday, April 6, 1962. The billboard was very striking and of great quality: Armando Manzanero, Lucho Gatica, Lucecita Benítez and Celia Cruz. When Celia was going to leave the apartment inwhere he was staying to go to the show, someone gives him the fatal news of his mother’s death . Crying flooded her eyes and darkness covered her soul. Dramatic moment. After several minutes he showed great strength of character, understanding that old adage, that the circus must continue. He ‘s arranged for that the public would not know the news and when it came his turn came amid the applause to play I’m going to Pinar of the Rio , ( ‘mymother the homeland ‘), as a posthumous tribute to her late mother .
The penalty for the death of his father became a tragedy, when he wanted to return to his country , to attend the funeral and the government did not provide his visa. He rightly said he didn’t need it , because Cuba was hisnative country . Of all ways he was impossible to crystallize his desire. All his lifethis memory bore her pitifully. In the absence of his mother , Celia thinks in a quiet but real way in hersentimental future . He has been a girlfriend of Pedro Knight for several years . ¿ What do not you get married now? Pedro had long been his second shadow. She is jovial, gentlemanly, sincere and loves her. By civil rite they join their destinies on Saturday, July 14, 1962, in Connecticut. As witnesses and groomsmen were Rolando Laserie and his wife Tita. They couldn’t get married forthe Catholic rite, as was the desire for Celia, for the simple fact that Peter, as it had done in Cuba and whose union had fathered six children.
Also it comes to the end of the musical relationship with Sonora Matancera in 1965. It was 15 years old fruitful and joint work , during which they recorded 188 subjects . The Goddess of the Caribbean , becomes a soloist, using herExperienced voice and a well-earned prestige.
Before changing the record label, with the René Hernández Orchestra record for Seeco , the LP entitled Songs that I wanted to have recorded first . Tico stamped signing a good contract in 1966. For this record works also the Tito Puente boricua, and produces so this new key. They take seven LP to acetate : Cuba and Puerto Rico are …, Alma with soul, Quimbo quimbumbia, Son con guaguancó, Etc., etc., etc., In SpainSomething special to remember.
For the same Tico label, but already in Mexico , he recorded with the Memo Salamanca Orchestras and the Cuban pianistJuan Bruno Tarraza. His legendary cry of Sugar, patents him here in 1971 on the theme I released the reins, original of the Mexican composer José Alfredo Jiménez . He would also be the only one in his life to record this great singer-songwriter Manito. I would say later in ainterview and with respect to his battle cry: I think that screaming sugar so much !, was that Pedro appeared to diabetes.
In 1973, in a new facet of his art, he sings at Carnegie Hall in New York in the Latin opera Hommy, and plays Divine Grace. It occurs later recordings for the label almighty Fania All Stars. In 1974, with the appearance of the LD Celia and Johnny, the brunette entered in one time for all to the world of salsa bymusical, economic and even political convictions. It alsobegins a Matancerization of the sauce.
With Johnny Pacheco he records:
1. Celia and Johnny (Go 1974). 2. Tremendous cache (Go 1975) 3. Eternal Celia and Johnny (Go 1978) 4. Celia, Johnny and Pete. 5. Celia, Johnny, Justo and Papo (Wow). 6. Celia and Johnny again (Go 1985).
Other LD engravings by Celia:
Cruz y Colón. Only they could make this album. (Go 1977). To all my friends (Tico 1978). The exciting Celia Cruz (Tico). Celia Cruz and Sonora Ponceña. Ceiba. (Go 1979). Celia and Willie (Go 1981). Celia Cruz, Ray, Adalberto. Tremendous threesome. (Fania 1983). Celia Cruz and Ray Barreto. Heart rhythm (Fania) The candle (Fania 1986). Celia Cruz and Willie Colón. The winners (Go 1988). Celia Cruz. Tribute to Ismael Rivera (Go). Celia Cruz. Black sugar (RMM 1992).
With its artistic quality, a new name is earned: The Lady of Salsa. Celia Cruz is the highest paid salsa artist, for her charisma and professional status.
In a spectacular tribute that is paid to the great Miguelito Valdés, on Friday, May 26, 1978, in the luxurious Roseland Ballroom, he participates next to: Daniel Santos, Bobby Capó, Vicentico Valdés, Charlie and Eddie Palmieri, Xiomara Alfaro, Myrta Silva The accompanying groups were: La Sonora Matancera, Charanga 76, Machito, Typical Novel. In 1980 he made strenuous tours of Europe: France, Germany, Sweden, Holland. She is the Universal Queen of Salsa. Obviously his professional career marks an upward curve and his savings in cash carry a parallel curve.
For the Bárbaro label in New York, Celia’s happy musical encounter with the Matancera takes place in 1982. This LD sells well in all the countries of America. Other issues of this volume that hit, are African Heritage and El calf.
The covered coliseum of the city of Medellín, on Tuesday, May 18, 1982, on a gloomy night, crowded to applaud to rage Celia Cruz with the Sonora Matancera, where the theme that will mark her popularity in the future, when it is presented Before all audiences in Latin America, Bemba colorá is the one that causes paroxysm.
On Thursday, September 17, 1987, his name is received to be registered in the Sunset Boulevard or the Hollywood Hall of Fame. Its star is number 12 among Latin artists, who have deserved that coveted tribute. According to his comment, this was forever his top prize.
Again he returns to Colombia with Daniel Santos and Sonora Matancera in September 1988; He works in Bogotá, Medellín, Armenia, Cali and Buenaventura. This year, the Salsa tape is released in our country, where he shares his musicality with Willie Colón.
La Guarachera de Cuba, the appellation that most satisfied him, corresponds artistically to close the great celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Matancera Sonora in Central Park and in the Carnegie Hall of New York City, in June 1989. There , shares for four days, with his former Matanzas instrumentalist colleagues and thirteen of the singers who triumphed with the ensemble in the old musical epics. At the end of the year, it is presented in the archifamous bullring Las Ventas, in Madrid, Spain. There is no bullfighting show, but that dark whirlwind with its unbeatable voice fills it up to the flags.
His great vocal skills continue to be recognized and awarded. He is awarded a new star; this time in the boulevard of the eighth street of Miami, in 1990. After being nominated for five consecutive years to the Grammy award, he obtains it in this, in the category of best artist in Latin music, for the work done with Ray Barreto , Rhythm in the heart. The following year the film Los Reyes del Mambo is released, where the clientele wonders singing in English. He worked alongside Armand Assante and the Spanish Antonio Banderas.
In the two years that follow, he participates in several shows with salsa stars. 1992 was a year of awards. He received the Successful Women Award in the State of New York and inaugurated his statue at the Hollywood Wax Museum. In this same city she was also awarded the DESI prize, as the favorite actress of the cinema.
On February 12, 1993, he flies to Bogotá, to accompany his dear friend, comadre and singer, the Colombian Matilde Díaz, in the fiftieth anniversary of his artistic life. They met in Havana in 1951, when the clarinetist, composer and director Lucho Bermúdez was on the island, having his wife, the Tolimense yearned as a singer. Recall that the Matancera recorded Lucho Bermúdez two themes of his inspiration: Christmas Eve with the voice of Celia Cruz and Linda Caleñita, with the voices of Happy Marriage, Olga and Tony.
The president of the United States, Bill Clinton, gives him the Medal of High Honor in the Arts, with ceremony aboard the same White House, when the year of 1994 passed. Everything was the order of the day, except his shout of! sugar !, not issued, for the respect that the smiling figure of the president of the Americans deserved.
The US base of Guantanamo, based in the Cuban territory, what incongruity !, witnessed the visit of the Guarachera of the World, in 1995. She had been invited to sing to the Cuban boatmen who were refugees there. An unprecedented way to return to the ground of his native country: There were so many emotions that I came to think that I could not sing to my countrymen, it seemed that my voice was not going to leave me. He would later declare between dismayed and happy. At a time of damned nostalgia before the return, Celia with her hand extended across the fence, plucks a portion of the earth and stores it in a collected bag, like a coveted trophy.
During the first semester of 1997, he acts in the Mexican soap opera El alma no color, with the diva Verónica Castro. On April 11 he gloats singing the popular Cuban classics, at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach accompanied by no less than the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, made up of one hundred professors and directed by Duilio Dobrin. In September he made an extensive tour of the motherland, where he has enjoyed great popularity since the seventies.
The Lady of Joy. Celia the Great The Guarachera of Cuba. The Tender, Touching and Swaying Celia. The Queen of the Cuban Rhythm. The Goddess Rumba The Queen of the Guaguancó. The Lady of the Sauce. The Queen of Salsa. The Guarachera of the Antilles. The Caribbean Guarachera. Queen Rumba The Queen of All Rhythms. The immortal Celia. The Ebony Beauty The Queen of Mestizoamerica. The Queen of Latin Music. “
As the couple spent a lot of time on tours, their relatives looked after their apartment in Fort Lee, New Jersey. They never had children, which was their greatest frustration. Actually, with so much artistic hustle, they wouldn’t have had time to raise them. They never spent Christmas and New Year parties at home, because they were always working on those key dates. His three suitcases of clothes were always ready to go anywhere in the world. In every January they always went on vacation, preferably to the Canary Islands, Hawaii, Paris, Venice or Rome. They got along great. They never argued. They talked. They were husbands, friends and partners. Mutual respect and dialogue were the key to their close and long union.
His favorite subject to interpret his audience was The modern Yerbero, because they were requested everywhere. He recorded 78 LD He had three honorary doctorates in Music. One from Yale University, granted in May 1989 and another from Florida International University, awarded on Thursday, April 23, 1992, in a ceremony in which the President of the United States, George Bush, was also awarded. The third was from the University of Miami.
In Los Angeles and in the famous Wax Museum, his figure is carved in this material, so that the posterity continues idolizing it. In 1994 he established a psychic counseling via telephone in Miami, charging $ 3.99 per minute. Its overwhelming prestige can with everything. The authorities of the city of San Francisco, California, honored her by naming October 25 as Celia Cruz Day.
According to the World Music History of the United States, the voice of Celia Cruz, belongs to that pleiad of female voices, qualified as Divas. His voice appears on the latest album Gloval Divas from the record label Rounder CD of Cambridge, Massachusetts, released to the market in the beginning of 1996. With her are in this work, figures of the category of Marlene Dietrich, Gal Costa, María Bethania, Edith Piaf, Aretha Franklin, Mercedes Sosa and the Colombian María Olga Piñeros.
In March 1996, Ralph Mercado, the strong man in the salsa record world, includes Celia Cruz, in the huge and novel work called the Beatles musical tribute. On the CD, Celia sings the oblate Obladi theme. Other participants were: Cheo Feliciano (Yesterday), Tito Nieves (Let it be), Oscar D’León (Lady Madonna), Johnny Rivera (A Hard Day’s Night), etc.
With other La Fania stars, he visits Colombia twice during 1996. Presentations in Bogotá, Barranquilla, Cali and Medellín. Its eternal Bemba Colorá, although a sector of the public enjoys this theme, makes its presentation tedious. At this moment he persists in his desire to record boleros and in this regard commented: “I would love to pay tribute to Panchito Riset. But it seems that until I own my company I will not do what I want. Ten years ago I say that I would like to make a bolero record. ”
On Thursday, March 4, 1998, on the eve of a gigantic presentation with the Stars of Fania in Bogotá, he receives from the hands of Andrés Pastrana, President of the Colombians, the Medal of Cultural Merit, when he says – “You with music He has done what García Márquez with literature ”and Celia, of course, intoned his fashion album Effervescently Life is a carnival.
On Wednesday, September 13, 2000, he receives his fifth American Grammy Award in the salsa category, this time for the work done with India, Johnny Pacheco and the late Tito Puente. On Wednesday, September 18, in Los Angeles, again at the ceremony of the newly established Latin Grammy, he once again took the statuette of the Best Salsa Music Album with his work The black has tumbao. Great tribute was paid for his 50 years of artistic life. There they also won among others, the Spanish Alejandro Sanz, the Colombian Juanes and the Cuban Bebo Valdés.
In May 2001, Celia participated in the inauguration of the Freedom Tower, a structure erected by the Cubans in Miami, as a symbol of freedom in exile. He interpreted with all the feeling that was possible, the ballad, In case I do not return, authored by Emilio Estefan and Angie Chirino (granddaughter of Olga Chorens, singer also of the Matancera and great friend of Celia).
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of their marriage, Pedro and Celia go sightseeing in Paris, Rome and the romantic Venice. They enjoyed like two children. But on his return to the United States and after a gynecological evaluation, the doctors diagnosed him with breast cancer, the same disease, which had killed his mother’s life. Both spouses, after such news, got confused in a shocking hug. And the viacrucis began, because he decided shocked, that he would fight without brokenness for his life. In August, a tumor biopsy was performed and the following month, when the diagnosis was confirmed by the pathology study, he underwent surgery
radical. Everything was handled discreetly without transcending the public. In October and as a tribute on his 77th birthday, the Miami Hispanic Council honors him by giving him the Don Quijote Prize, for being “the best ambassador for Hispanic culture in the world”
After two months of recovery, in November, he stubbornly travels to Mexico, where his friendly artists pay tribute to him for his professional golden wedding. Right there, he began to present another symptomatology, consisting of dizziness, difficulty speaking and fainting. In Mexico, after rigorous examinations, you discover a brain metastasis of your breast cancer. All future commitments are canceled. On December 6, at the Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, New York, she underwent a six-hour craniotomy, which tried to remove her brain injury. At two weeks, she left with her husband seeking to strengthen herself with Mother Nature in the Hawaiian Islands.
When they returned, they were encouraged too much to give the last touch-ups to a foundation to raise funds and that would bear his name, with the goals of musically educating and fighting for childhood suffering from cancer, in the Hispanic community. On February 14, 2003, his idea crystallized. Gift of the soul, is his last work, which with the difficulties of his suffering, managed to record in the months of February and March. While recovering, he obtained a new Grammy on Sunday, February 16, in the best salsa album sector. The ceremony was held at Madison Square Garden in New York. After a tribute offered by the Telemundo network, on March 13, which featured the performance of many of his friends, he was already held in his apartment in Fort Lee, New Jersey. They didn’t tell him, of course, that his brother Bárbaro died in Cuba beginning the month of June. She would reach him soon.
When he arrived on July 14, 2003, the day of his 41st anniversary of his marriage, Celia was entering the critical state of his health. Its fatal outcome occurred on Wednesday, July 16 at 4:55 p.m. And his myth began.
“Here lies one who did not want to die.”
“Someday I will disappear like everyone else, but I hope they don’t forget me.”