On A U.S. Quarter, Celia Cruz, The Icon Of Salsa Music, Will Be The First Afro Latina

‘The Queen of Salsa’ Celia Cruz, a Cuban-American singer, will appear as the first Afro Latina in the quarter.

A renowned Latin music artist of the 20th century, Cruz was part of the Latin music revolution. During her career, she recorded over 80 albums and achieved worldwide fame. The Smithsonian Institution says she earned 23 gold albums, three Grammy Awards, four Latin Grammy Awards, and the President’s National Medal of Arts. The 2016 Grammy Awards also honored her posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award.


Salsa was previously a genre dominated by male artists, but Cruz became a celebrated star and increased Latin music’s popularity. Cruz began singing in the 1940s after being born in Havana in 1925. During a performance tour in Mexico in 1959, she was exiled to the United States after the Cuban revolution.

The U.S. Mint has chosen Cruz and four other women to feature on the American Women Quarters Program in 2024.

Five quarters will be issued annually from 2022 to 2025 to honor “ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse individuals.” They come from various fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, and space.


Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said in a release, “The women being honored have lived remarkable lives and made significant contributions to our Nation.” “They pioneered change throughout their lives, not accepting the status quo. These pioneering women are honored by the Mint to connect America with small works of art kept in your pocket as a reminder of their contributions.”