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Happy Birthday, Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz Google Doodle
Celia Cruz Google Doodle

Celia Cruz Google Doodle

Today is the birthday of Celia Cruz. It’s been ten years since she passed away. She would have been 88 today, maybe. The Queen of Salsa was somewhat secretive about the year she was actually born.

Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso de la Santísima Trinidad was born in Havana, Cuba. She began singing professionally in the late 1940s on a Havana radio station. She traveled with a band throughout Latin America in the 1950s.

In 1959, as Fidel Castro came to power, she and her husband Pedro Knight fled Cuba and became U.S. citizens.

Cruz was known for shouting azucar (sugar) during her concerts.

According to the Celia Cruz Foundation website, “It started when we were dining with friends in a restaurant and the waiter asked if I wanted coffee with or without sugar …"

She was also known for her flamboyant appearance which included elaborate costumes and wigs. A collection of some of her costumes was honored by the Smithsonian in 2005 as part of a retrospective of her career.

Cruz's career spanned six decades. She performed with legends like Tito Puente and today’s performers like Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin.

Whether she performed alone or with other stars, Cruz left her audience tapping a foot and shaking a hip.

Google has recognized her with a Google doodle on her birthday.

Happy Birthday, Celia.

Oye Como Va

KJZZ’s News Director Al Macias is part of an elite class of trusted, veteran journalists who have covered Arizona news for more than 30 years.Macias helps oversee daily operations for the KJZZ newsroom and Fronteras: the Changing America Desk. This is second nature for Macias, who is a National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Society member and an inductee of the Society of Professional Journalists Order of the Silver Key Society.Macias began serving the KJZZ news team in October 2010, helping the station launch Fronteras: The Changing America Desk as the project's managing editor. He became the news director in January 2015. Macias, who has an extensive television background, is helping Fronteras Desk reporters disseminate reports using a multimedia platform that includes radio, web, video and social media tools to engage listeners across the globe.He also is no stranger to building a news team from the ground up. Macias was part of the management team that launched the KNXV newsroom in 1994 and oversaw its growth from a staff of twenty to more than sixty in less than a year. Additionally, he served in managerial roles at KPNX from 1981-1994 and as an assignment editor and manager for KTVK.During his television career, Macias won two Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards for spot news coverage and public service programming.Macias takes great pride in his public service work, as well. He is a founding board member of the Arizona Latino Media Association and is part of the Raul H. Castro Institute Advisory Committee. In addition, he served Maricopa County’s communications department and spent time as a Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau.A Phoenix native, Macias earned a journalism degree from Arizona State University. He has been married since 1978 and has two adult daughters.