Dozens gather to honor late salsa star Celia Cruz

ORCHARD BEACH - Latin dancers performed traditional numbers for dozens of gatherers at Orchard Beach Monday to pay tribute to late salsa star Celia Cruz.

Cruz, who was Cuban-born, moved to New York City in the 1960s. Fans say she was one of the most successful Cuban performers of the 20th century. Cruz, a Grammy winner, died in 2003.

Shortly after her death, Cruz was honored by the Bronx High School of Music, which was renamed the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music in 2003.

?She was the queen of all Latinos in the area of music and especially in the Bronx, because the Bronx is considered the home of salsa,? Ralph Paniagua, the producer of the tribute, said. He said that some people don?t get paid tribute until they die, but Cruz was shown love her whole life. ?She showed us love all of her life,? he added.

Fans say Cruz?s charisma on stage was what made her a star adored by all.

?It?s an energy you feel inside you, it?s radiating,? Adrian Delfaus, a Cruz fan, said. ?It?s a Latin thing, but all the other cultures, they feel it.?

Cruz has a universal appeal. Fans from various backgrounds came to celebrate the life and music of Cruz at the tribute. They say her dances and music will keep them moving for years to come.

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