For the first time in her own words comes the personal story of a life filled with heartbreaking setback and triumph, from one of the most celebrated talents the world has ever known.
After Celia Cruz passed away on July 17, 2003, more than a half million people stood in line for hours in order to pay their respects, in both Miami and New York. Millions more paid tribute to her, holding impromptu memorials in living rooms and crowded street festivals throughout the world.
Filled with the sound of her unmistakable voice, as fans played the songs that she will forever be remembered for, the Queen of Salsa's passing was marked with the same celebratory fervor Celia Cruz emulated throughout her life and career; a career that spanned the entire latter half of the twentieth century.
Yet Celia Cruz's life had been largely mired in rumor and speculation. When she was alive, Celia Cruz never granted anyone total access to her life story and photo archive. Finally, comes a book that chronicles her own story, in her own words.
From her modest childhood in Cuba to her exile years in Mexico to her remarkable career and life in America, Celia was a woman of contrasts. Her flamboyant costumes contrasted with her simple and straightforward demeanor. She was open and accessible to her fans, but staunchly private about her personal life. She was uninhibited without decadence, honest without offense, confident but not arrogant, and generous without fault. Yet above all, Celia was authentic, and it was this authenticity that resonated so deeply with her public.
Based on more than five hundred hours of taped interviews recorded just months before her death, Celia includes never-before-published personal photos and anecdotes, letting fans glimpse a life that, while lived in the full view of the public, had remained largely private.
Celia celebrates the soul of a life blessed with talent -- strengthened by an unquestioned work ethic as well as an unwavering faith in God and humanity -- in these, her final words to the public she adored, and who equally loved her back.
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