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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July, 2003, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
Fans' farewells to Salsa queen
The body of Celia Cruz being carried on a horse-drawn carriage
Cruz's body was carried to the funeral on a horse-drawn carriage
Hundreds of fans paid their final respects to salsa star Celia Cruz as her funeral procession made its way through New York on Tuesday.

Mourners lined the streets and many had waited for hours, waving flags, singing and dancing before the procession arrived.

The body of Cruz, who died on Wednesday, was carried to St Patrick's Cathedral, where the service was held, by a horse-drawn carriage.

Known as the Queen of Salsa, Cruz, 78, died after recording more than 70 albums during her career.

Originally from Cuba, she died of a brain tumour at her home in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

A police barricade lined the route to the cathedral.

Fans began arriving nine hours before the funeral was due to start
Fans began arriving nine hours before the funeral was due to start
One fan, Jacqueline Phillpotts, a Haitian native living in Queens, said: "I came here to pay tribute to a great queen. I postponed everything to be here."

Arturo Charriez, 38, of Brooklyn, said: "We're talking about a greatly loved figure who will forever be an example.

"Celia has been a gift from God to the Latin community. The woman was radiance itself."

Cruz will be buried in a private ceremony at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx after the service.

On Monday, many mourners travelled to the Frank E Campbell funeral home in Manhattan to pay their respects.

Fans chanted "Celia, Celia" and carried photos of the singer as they made their way to the home.

Celia Cruz
Cruz will be honoured at this year's Latin Grammy awards
On Sunday, more than 75,000 people are thought to have visited her funeral casket, which was held at the Freedom Tower in Miami.

Miami was considered her "spiritual home" and her body was flown back to the city so that Cubans in Florida could say their farewells.

Cruz won best salsa album for La Negra Tiene Tumbao at last year's Latin Grammy Awards, and won the same award at this year's Grammys.

Her other best-known recordings include Yerberito Moderno and Que le Den Candela.

This year's Latin Grammys ceremony, held in September, will include a tribute to the singer.


SEE ALSO:
Miami mourns 'Queen of Salsa'
18 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
'Queen of Salsa' dies
17 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
In pictures: Celia Cruz's colourful life
17 Jul 03  |  Photo Gallery


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