Celia Cruz has been gone for 12 years, but her presence was definitely felt during the Aug. 20 broadcast of Telemundo’s Premios Tu Mundo, which featured the first official look at the upcoming scripted drama series inspired by the queen of salsa’s incredible life story.
Slated for a fall 2015 premiere on the network, Celia chronicles Úrsula Hilaria Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso’s evolution from a shy teen in pre-revolution Havana, Cuba to a larger-than-life figure that brought the world to its feet with the power of her voice, inimitable style and exuberant presence. Along the way, Cruz battled racism, sexism, and defied expectations of what a black female musician could achieve in the ‘50s.
“Most of us, at least those of a certain generation, know a lot about Celia’s later years, but we spend a big portion of the series delving into a side of the young Celia that most people probably aren’t aware of,” Glenda Pacanins, SVP, Telemundo Programming Strategy Integration, told Billboard exclusively. “Yes, she was incredibly talented and driven, but she also didn’t know what she was getting herself into. The Cuban music scene was male-dominated [in the ‘40s and ‘50s], and Celia’s own father was adamantly opposed to her becoming a singer. There was a stigma at that time of women participating in the entertainment industry — they were perceived as easy or as someone who would walk down a bad path in life, so it’s interesting because it sets the stage for the woman that Celia would eventually become. When you see that aspiration, coupled with that incredible talent, you know she’s going to get somewhere.”
Get more exclusive details on Celia here – including the scoop on its two leading ladies, Jeimy Osorio and Aymeé Nuviola, who will portray the Cuban icon during different stages of her life — and enjoy the above sneak peek at what is sure to be one of the fall’s most talked-about series.