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Latin Music Legends on Forever Stamps

5 Latin American artists honored by the U.S. government have their faces stamped in postal history

En español | Mexican painter Rafael López is behind the energy and vitality of the U.S. Postal Service Latin Music Legends stamps, featuring Celia Cruz, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente and Selena. Get to know them here: We’ve selected video gems of live performances and a selection of their best work.

CELIA CRUZ
1924-2003 

"La Guarachera de Cuba" will remain in the minds of all Latinos the symbol of the warmth and cheerfulness conveyed by Afro-Caribbean rhythms.

Beyond her ornate clothing and well-known battle cry — a throaty and powerful "Azúcar!"— Celia Cruz actively contributed to the development of tropical music. In her native Cuba, she was a sensation as the lead singer of La Sonora Matancera, an orchestra that transcended boundaries by mixing Afro-Cuban rhythms with popular esthetic. In the 1960s, after leaving her beloved Cuba, she made a series of recordings with musician Tito Puente. Celia played a leading role in the salsa boom of the 1970s in New York, and she recorded with Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colón, Ray Barretto and La Sonora Ponceña. During the 1980s, she embraced the mellow sounds of romantic salsa, and by the beginning of the new century, she recorded some of her greatest hits, including a rap-mixed salsa in "La negra tiene tumbao" and a celebration to the universality of tropical rhythms in "La vida es un carnaval." Unforgettable as both a singer and a human being, “the Queen” passed away in 2003, leaving behind an impressive recording legacy.

Suggested Recordings

La tierna, conmovedora, bamboleadora (1963)

Son con guaguancó (1966)

Cuba Y Puerto Rico Son (1966)

Celia & Johnny (1974)

Only They Could Have Made This Album (1977)

Tremendo Trío (1983)

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