Feb 8, 2023 - Economy & Business

Celia Cruz to be first Afro-Latina woman to appear on U.S. quarter

Celia Cruz singing.

Cuban singer Celia Cruz performs at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague, Netherlands, in 1999. Photo: Frans Schellekens/Redferns

The late Cuban American singer Celia Cruz will soon feature on the U.S. quarter in honor of her "significant impact" on the country, the United States Mint announced.

Why it matters: Cruz, widely known as the "Queen of Salsa," will be the first Afro-Latina woman to appear on the U.S. quarter.

Driving the news: The U.S. Mint chose Cruz and four other women for its 2024 American Women Quarters Program, according to a statement issued last week.

  • Per the Mint, the others are: Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color in Congress; Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War-era surgeon and women's rights advocate; Pauli Murray, a civil rights activist, lawyer; and Zitkala-Ša, a writer, composer, educator and political activist for Native Americans.

What's next: The federal agency will release designs for the new quarters in mid-2023.

The big picture: Born in Havana in 1925, Cruz was one of the most popular Latin music artists of the 20th century.

  • She recorded over 80 albums and earned numerous awards — including a National Medal of Arts, multiple Grammy awards and a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

What they're saying: “All of the women being honored have lived remarkable and multi-faceted lives, and have made a significant impact on our Nation in their own unique way,” Mint Director Ventris Gibson said in a statement.

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