Top 5 Latinas That Have Shaped Latin Culture in the United States


Each of these Latina women are famous, smart, and ambitious. They have had tons of adoring fans, and they have put on powerful performances. These Latina women have been leaders in their own right. They are not only known in the United States but also internationally. They are well respected for their contribution not only to Latin Culture but to American Culture. Their legacy will live on in our American history.

4Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz receiving a grammy
Celica Cruz receives a Grammy from CBS

Her birth name was Ursula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso. She lived from October 21, 1925 to July 16, 2003. She was a Latin singer. She is of Cuban decent. Her father, Simon Cruz was a railroad stoker and her mother Catalina Alfonso was a homemaker. As a teenager Cruz began singing as a contestant on a Havana radio station.

She sang the tango “Nostalgias” and won first place finisher. Her first recordings were made in 1948 in Venezuela. She appeared in Mexican films such as Rincon Criollo (1950), Una gallega en La Habana (1955) and Amorcito Corazon (1961). As Fidel Castro took control of the Cuban Government in 1959 Cruz was prohibited from returning to Cuba. She and her husband became citizens of the United States. She was soon headlining concerts at Carnegie Hall. During the 1980s Cruz made many tours in Latin America and Europe. In 1990, Cruz won a Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Performance. In 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded Cruz the National Medal of Arts. She was also inducted into the Billboards Latin Music Hall inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. In 2002, Cruz performed for free at Central Park Summer Stage in New York City to a full house. In March 2003, Telemundo television network produced a tribute honoring Celia Cruz. She was known as the “Queen of Salsa”, and the Queen of Latin Music. She spent most of her career working in the United States and several Latin American countries. In 2016, she won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She has influenced many musicians of today and her legacy will live on for a long time.

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