Musicians to honor Celia Cruz

Tribute to salsa queen will open Latin Grammys

— Wednesday night's Latin Grammy award show will open with a tribute to Celia Cruz, the late queen of salsa who recorded more than 70 albums and had more than a dozen Grammy nominations.

Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning artists Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Arturo Sandoval and Olga Tanon (nominated this year for female pop vocal album) are slated to perform with nominees El General (rap/hip-hop album), La India (salsa album and tropical song) and Victor Manuelle (salsa album) in a special tribute to the Cuban-born matriarch of Latin music.

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AP Photo

Johnny Pacheco, La India, Oscar D'Leon, Gloria Estefan, Victor Manuelle, El General, Olga Tanon, Marc Anthony and Willie Colon, from left, perform a tribute to Celia Cruz during a rehearsal call at the 4th Annual Latin Grammy Awards. Tuesday's rehearsal was in preparation for the show tonight, which will air at 8.

"This will be a most beautiful event, and the one and only time we will have this moment of so many big stars coming together just to honor and remember the queen of salsa," said Gabriel Abaroa, president of the Latin Recording Academy. "She did not only have fans musically, but she was taken into homes like family. Such a level of friendship from ordinary people to her should be honored."

The Fania All-Stars, the New York salsa band of the 1960s and 1970s that Cruz had performed with, will also participate in the tribute at the start of the CBS broadcast.

Cruz died July 16. She was 77.

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