Updated 11:37 AM EDT, Wed, Apr 16, 2014

AMA 2013 Performers and Nominees: Jennifer Lopez to Perform Tribute to Celia Cruz at Awards

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Lopez to perform at AMAs
Jennifer Lopez will perform a tribute to Celia Cruz at the upcoming AMA awards. (Photo : Ana Carolina Kley Vita / Flickr)

With the show date for the American Music Awards nearing ever closer, there's a new Latino highlight to put on the must-see list, right next to having the event hosted by Pitbull.

Jennifer Lopez has joined the list of all-star performers slated to entertain the crowd, and she will be performing a tribute to Celia Cruz. The announcement was made in a press release from Dick Clark Productions yesterday.

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"Jennifer Lopez will perform a tribute to music legend Celia Cruz, Katy Perry will open this year's show with the second single 'Unconditionally,' from her new album PRISM, and TLC will perform marking their AMA return with a special unannounced guest," the release read, adding these names to the list of performers already slated to appear in the Nov. 24 show.

"Actress, entertainer, music artist, film and TV producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian, Jennifer Lopez is one of the most successful and celebrated celebrities in entertainment," the release continued. "Since Lopez burst onto the music scene in 1999 with her first album 'On the 6,' she has been a major force, selling over 75 million albums worldwide. With an unmatched global appeal, Lopez has racked up more than $1.4 billion in worldwide box office receipts (Box Office Mojo). She is an award-winning TV personality through participation on 'American Idol,' the No. 1 Most Watched U.S. television series of 2010-2012. The Jennifer Lopez brand has achieved historic and record-breaking proportions and her fragrances have become the most successful celebrity line in the world."

Celia Cruz became an icon of the Cuban music scene in the 1950s, with her first recording made in 1948. She took the lead role singing for the acclaimed Sonora Matancera, despite doubts as to whether a female singer could lead the band and achieve commercial success. But she quelled the doubts and the popularity of the group soared.

According to the Biography Channel Web site, the musical ensemble was touring in Mexico when the political situation took a turn for the worse, and the band took a turn toward the United States, leaving Cuba behind for good.

Cruz became a U.S. citizen in 1961. Initially, Cruz remained relatively obscure outside the Cuban community, but after joining the Tito Puente Orchestra that began to change.

"With her seemingly unfaltering vocals, Cruz continued performing live and recording albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and beyond," the Biography Channel notes. "In that time, she made more than 75 records, including nearly 20 that went gold, and won several Grammys and Latin Grammys. She also appeared in several movies, earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts."

Cruz passed away in 2003. She was 77.

 

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