Music Profile: 5 Celia Cruz Life Lessons
Alessia, my nine year old niece (and BFF), and I were enjoying Obba Sandwhiches a few weeks ago when I almost chocked in shock mid-conversation as I realized that my protégé did not know who Celia Cruz was.
I said: "Alessia, you were born in Miami. From today, Celia will always and forever be in your heart. Because before Beyonce, there was La Negra Tiene Tumbao; before DALE, there was Azuca.
Here is the list of quick yet important lessons that I passed down to little Alessia via YouTube, that Celia passed down to me:
1. Live your life like you're in a conga line.
Yes, Celia was THE MOST influential female figure in the history of Latin music. She's also the biggest MOOD LIFTER EVER.
Just listen to Carnaval and you'll start percolating and forget what you were upset about in the first place.
2. Being different is FAB.
She broke all molds.
She was an afro-cuban songbird, with a bodacious body, a colorful closet and a sassy attitude. She cha-cha'd her way to Hollywood, won Grammy, Latin Grammys, starred in movies.
She was even on Sesame Street!
3. Over accessorizing isn't a thing.
Stuff those maracas in your purse - might need them later.
More feathers? Yes, please!
4. Celia, just like me, had to leave her country and move to Miami.
This isn't really a lesson. But just saying.
5. Celia had a good man by her side that let her shine:.
This video shows her and her boo, Pedro Knight, in their splendor amoroso.
6. Be humble.
See her demeanour below when she was not performing.
Also, Celia + Sabado Sensacional con Gilberto Correa makes me have so many feels. Look at all those audience pompoms!
AND just you wait, because there's a surprise at the end. Let's just say Gladys her sister wasn't in Cuba like Celia thought.
7. And many more!
For those of you who habla Español, here is an AWESOME interview where she reflects on life.
If you don't, then take a course because I have already taught you enough.
GRACIAS POR SER TAN BELLA CELIA! NOW YOU'RE WATCHING OVER ALL THE ORIGINAL SASSY GALS FROM HEAVEN, AND WE CAN'T WAIT TO MEET YOU SOMEDAY.
Visit http://celiacruz.com/ to see how you can help youngster songbirds like her, and keep her memory alive. The CC Legacy Project (on that same link) also has a collection of her videos, costumes and photographs to keep the Legacy of Celia Cruz alive for generations to come.