The late Celia Cruz would have had one more reason to shout “azucar” once she heard the news that she will receive a Grammy lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy.
Cruz, who died in 2003, won three Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammy Awards during a career that took her from her early years in Cuba, where she sang with the great Sonora Matancera, to New York, where she was the female voice present at the birth of salsa, performing as a member of the Fania All Stars and recording seminal albums with Johnny Pacheco and Willie Colón. As a soloist, the prolific salsa queen remains one of the best known Latin music artists around the world. Twenty-three of her albums went gold.
Linda Ronstadt, whose 1987 double platinum tribute to her Mexican heritage Canciones de Mi Padre was a global crossover sensation, is also among this year’s honorees. Ruth Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, and Run-D.M.C are the other artists who will receive Grammy lifetime achievement awards.
A ceremony and concert celebrating the careers of the special awards recipients will be held in the spring on an as-yet-unspecified date.