By Yara Simón, Remezcla.com
The late Celia Cruz will now be honored with a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Cruz – who perhaps has one of the most recognizable versions of “Guantanamera”– got her start in the 1940s with La Sonora Matancera in a pre-Castro Cuba. She had 23 gold albums, brought salsa to the masses, and reigned as its Queen for decades.
Cruz, who died in 2003, won three Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammy Awards. In New York, she performed 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.
This year, other inductees include Earth, Wind & Fire, Run DMC, and Airplane, and they will be honored with a ceremony and concert this spring.
“Each year, The Academy has the distinct privilege of honoring those who have greatly contributed to our industry and cultural heritage, and this year we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “Their exceptional accomplishments, contributions, and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come.”
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 on an as-yet-unspecified date.