Top Songs by Celia Cruz

The following list offers some of the most famous songs by Celia Cruz. From "Tu Voz" to "La Vida Es Un Carnaval," this compilation shows why Celia Cruz was considered the Queen of Salsa. Her charismatic personality, powerful voice and vibrant style made of Celia Cruz one of the most influential figures in Latin music.

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“Tu Voz”

Photo Courtesy Seeco
Grandes Exitos de Celia Cruz con La Sonora Matancera. Photo Courtesy Seeco

There has to be a bolero in any list dealing with best songs by Celia Cruz. "Tu Voz" is my personal choice in this field, leaving out of the list other tracks like "Te Busco" and "Dile Que Por Mi No Tema." However, this could be the bolero that better captures Celia's voice. A fantastic song from her beginnings with La Sonora Matancera.

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“La Ceiba Y La Siguaraya”

Photo Courtesy Fania
La Ceiba. Photo Courtesy Fania

In my opinion, "La Ceiba Y La Siguaraya" is one of the best Salsa songs ever recorded by Celia Cruz. This single is the star track from La Ceiba, the collaboration album between the Queen of Salsa and the legendary Puerto Rican Salsa band La Sonora Ponceña. "La Ceiba Y La Siguaraya" is also a perfect song for dancing.

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Photo Courtesy Pimienta Records
Celia Cruz - At The Beginning. Photo Courtesy Pimienta Records

This is another classic song from the times Celia Cruz used to sing with the legendary Cuban band La Sonora Matancera. It was her ticket to capture audiences in New York back in 1957 when she visited the Big Apple for the first time. A colorful song enhanced by the memorable trumpets of the Cuban band.

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“Azucar Negra”

Photo Courtesy Universal Latino
Celia Cruz - Serie Cinco Estrellas de Oro. Photo Courtesy Universal Latino

From her 1998 album with the same name, "Azucar Negra" was the most popular track from this musical production. Every time Celia Cruz went to stage her distinctive call "Azucar!" drove people crazy. This song not only enhances that call but alsot Celia's African roots. "Azucar Negra" (Brown Sugar) was one of the most famous songs by Celia Cruz.

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Photo Courtesy Fania
Celia Cruz Greatest Hits. Photo Courtesy Fania

"Quimbara" is one of those songs that helped build the whole musical brand around the Queen of Salsa. This single is dominated by great percussion and trumpet sessions. By far, one of the best dancing songs by Celia Cruz.

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“Sopita En Botella”

Photo Courtesy Pimienta Records
Afro Cuban Roots Presents 75 Years of Cuban Music. Photo Courtesy Pimienta Records

From her productive years with la Sonora Matancera, "Sopita En Botella" is one of the songs that shaped the Salsa style that characterized Celia Cruz's throughout her successful career. Salsa fans know this is one of the best songs by Celia Cruz. Her performance is fantastic in a single that needs the voice in the right place at the right time.

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“Yerbero Moderno”

Photo Courtesy Pimienta Records
Celia Cruz - At The Beginning. Photo Courtesy Pimienta Records

This track is another classic from Celia Cruz. It is, in fact, difficult to find a compilation of Celia's hits without this song. This single offers a good beat of Rumba that is exalted by Celia Cruz's powerful voice. A classic track not only for Salsa but for Latin music in general.

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Photo Courtesy Fania
Bravo. Photo Courtesy Fania

Even if you are not into Latin music, you know that "Guantanamera" is at the heart of Latin music. This song, which is part of the Cuban identity, was taken to new levels of popularity thanks to Celia Cruz's fantastic version. Very often, when we think of Guantanamera, we think of Celia Cruz and we think of Cuba.

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“La Negra Tiene Tumbao”

Photo Courtesy Sony Music Latin
Celia Cruz - La Reina y Sus Amigos. Photo Courtesy Sony Music Latin

"La Negra Tiene Tumbao" proved that Celia Cruz was an artist in constant evolution ready to answer the call of her time. This song provides a modern beat quite different from all the classic repertoire Celia Cruz built throughout her career. With this track, Celia Cruz showed to the world the eternal artist she was.

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“La Vida Es Un Carnaval”

Photo Courtesy RMM Records
The Royalty of Salsa. Photo Courtesy RMM Records

Commercially speaking, "La Vida Es Un Carnaval" was one of the most popular songs by Celia Cruz. Those who grew up with Celia's music know that this is not her best song. However, younger generations made of this track a point of reference for Celia's music. Regardless of all this, "La Vida Es Un Carnaval" was probably the best way for Celia to share with the world her never ending happy spirit. In the end, she lived her own life like a carnival full of smiles and joy. Definitely, one of the most uplifting songs by Celia Cruz.