photo: Corbis

Legendary salsa queen Celia Cruz would have turned 90-years-old today. As we celebrate her birthday we can't help but reflect on her music career success and her still growing influence. The Cuban singer who rose to international stardom didn't just leave us with great songs like "La Vida Es Un Carnival," and "La Negra Tiene Tumbao," but also with her famous catch phrase: ¡Azúcar!

We all remember hearing her shout out ¡Azúcar! but most of us don't actually know the history behind it. Celia actually explained how the famous term came about during a 2000 Billboard interview.

"I was having dinner at a restaurant in Miami, and when the waiter offered me coffee, he asked me if I took it with or without sugar. I said, 'Chico, you're Cuban. How can you even ask that? With sugar!' And that evening during my show ... I told the audience the story and they laughed. And one day, instead of telling the story, I simply walked down the stairs and shouted Azúcar!"

So there you have it, that's how and why Celia always used to shout out ¡Azúcar! during her performances and in all of her songs. Leave it to a Latina to come up with a catchphrase inspired by her beloved cafecito. One thing for sure, you can't have a cup of Cuban coffee without sugar. That just goes without saying.

Now for some ¡Azúcar!