Feast your eyes on this morsel of real-recognize-real greatness: Back in 1998, the GOATs Celia Cruz and Patti LaBelle teamed up for a duet at the ALMA Awards, a now cancelled show celebrating Latino entertainers in music, TV, and film. The salsa and soul icons performed a vibrant rendition of Celia’s classic 70s hit “Quimbara” during the event in Pasadena, California, chock full of back-and-forth shimmying and hip-swaying salsa moves from LaBelle, channeling all of our tías at the family function. Plus, check out famed percussionist and Prince collaborator Sheila E. on drums in the background. All in all, it’s a heartwarming moment, as legends from two massive genres acknowledge each other’s contributions to music history.
LaBelle also paid tribute to la reina when she died in 2003, performing a “Ave Maria” at her funeral service in New York City. LaBelle also performed “Quimbara” with Gloria Estefan and Arturo Sandoval at a tribute special a couple of months before Celia’s death in 2003.