Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, also known by her stage name Celia (La Negra) Cruz (October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003), was a Cuban singer of Latin music. She was known for electrifying audiences with her wide-ranging, soulful voice and rhythmically compelling style. She was the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century, she earned twenty-three gold albums and was a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. She was renowned internationally as the "Queen of Salsa", "La Guarachera de Cuba", as well as The Queen of Latin Music.
She spent much of her career working in the United States and several Latin American countries. Leila Cobo of Billboard Magazine once said "Cruz is indisputably the best known and most influential female figure in the history of Cuban and Latin music". She was an ambassador for the variety and vitality of the music of her native Havana, after the Cuban revolution she became a symbol of artistic freedom for Cuban American exiles.