New York – Monday, March 17, 2003…Omer Pardillo, manager of Celia Cruz, officially announced the creation of the Celia Cruz Foundation.  Pardillo along with Pedro Knight, Celia’s husband, created and finalized the idea for this organization the summer of 2002. The foundation’s mission is to offer financial aid to Latino students who wish to study Music.  It will also be a great contributor in the fight against Cancer.

The Celia Cruz Foundation will be holding fundraisers and activities in which this celebrated artist, along with music luminaries, will be in attendance.

The first of these showcases was the television special titled “Celia Cruz: ¡Azúcar!”, produced by the Telemundo Network this past Thursday, March 13th at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami Florida.

Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan hosted the magnificent event.  Some of the many international figures from the music industry in attendance included: Victor Manuelle, Paulina Rubio, Olga Tañón, Mickey Perfecto, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Los Tri-O, Milly Quezada, Ana Gabriel, Patty Labelle, José Feliciano, Tito Nieves, Albita, Alicia Villareal, Luis Enrique, José Alberto “El Canario”, India, Rosario, Gloria Gaynor, Arturo Sandoval and Johnny Pacheco.

Her voice, talent and charisma have conspired to produce one of the most impressive track records in the music industry.  Celia Cruz received so many distinctions that if we had to list them, they will fill a large volume.  It goes without saying that her more than 70 albums garnered her a healthy amount of gold and platinum records, plus more than a hundred awards from prestigious institutions worldwide.  She received five Grammy Awards and two Grammy Latino awards.

Celia received three Honorary Degrees from the following US universities: Yale, Florida International University and Miami University.    She also appeared in about 10 movies, with The Mambo Kings and The Perez Family among the most recent.

Her first talent award came in 1947 in her native Havana, Cuba.  Shortly after winning the contest, she enrolled in the National Music Conservatory, where she studied music theory and piano.

Celia Cruz expresses, “I have had the idea of creating this foundation for a long time, but because of my busy schedule and consistently being on the road, I never had the opportunity to fulfill this dream.  Throughout my career, I have participated in many galas and activities that have raised money in support of causes like children education, The League Against Cancer, “Pavarotti and Friends” and many more.  With this new step, I have renewed my interest and my desire in continuing to contribute to our society.”

The Queen of Salsa is currently recording her next production for Sony Records.

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