Celia Cruz, the late Cuban icon who dominated the salsa genre, is one of five recipients of the 2024 American Women’s Program.

WASHINGTON — The United States Mint is adding some “Azucar!” to their quarters.

Celia Cruz, the late Cuban icon who dominated the salsa genre is one of five honored American Women’s Quarters Program 2024. Cruz will be the first Afro-Latina American to be in the American quarter.

She is called the “Queen of Salsa” for her influence and dominance of the Latin American genre. Cruz, who was born in Havana, Cuba and later moved to the United States, was a five-time Grammy Award winner and National Medal of Arts, among other awards.

In 2016, she received a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

“All of the women being honored have lived remarkable and multifaceted lives and have had a significant impact on our nation in their own unique ways,” said Mint Director Ventris S. Gibson. “Women have initiated change throughout their lives by not succumbing to the status quo given to them throughout their lives.”

Cruise, who died in 2003 at the age of 77, recorded more than 80 albums during her lifetime. In the last decade of her career, she was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame and the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.

In addition to her bright and extravagant costumes, Cruz is known for her catchphrase “Azucar!”

Here’s who else is being honored in 2024:

  • Patsy Takemoto Mink – the first woman of color to serve in Congress.
  • Dr. Mary Edwards Walker – Civil War-era surgeon, women’s rights advocate, and abolitionist.
  • Pauly Murray – a poet, writer, activist, lawyer and Episcopal priest, as well as an ardent defender of civil rights, the fight against racial and gender discrimination.
  • Zhitkala-Sha – writer, composer, educator and political activist for the right of Native Americans to the citizenship of the United States and other civil rights from which they have been deprived for a long time.

Each year through 2025, the Mint will release five new quarters featuring different women in American history. The design for the 2024 quarters will be released by mid-2023.


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