NEW YORK – Queen of salsa Celia Cruz (search), who died Wednesday after a long battle with brain cancer, will be viewed and buried the way she performed — decked out with jewels, flamboyant hair and fabulous costumes.
Cruz, known for her powerful voice, contagious energy and dynamic stage presence, is expected to sport different outfits at wakes in Miami and New York — her final farewell tour.
"We are going to honor Celia the way she was — with fabulous clothing and beautiful hair," said the diva's publicist, Blanca La Salle.
Cruz's remains will be flown today from New York to Miami, her spiritual home, for a public viewing and Mass. While the popular singer was born in Cuba, Miami had a special place in her heart.
On Sunday, Cruz's body will be flown back to New York for a final public wake and Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Her longtime friend and hairstylist, Ruth Sanchez Laviera, said Cruz's outfits will be "beautiful, colorful and fabulous — the way Celia was in life.
"She looks like she's in a concert."
Cruz will sport a blond wig, white sequin gown and a large rhinestone necklace for her Miami viewing, according to Sanchez Laviera, the owner of El Yunque Oba on the Upper West Side.
The New York costume is still being prepared, but Sanchez Laviera said it will have feathers.
"I am afraid of the dead, but Celia's spirit gave me strength to get her ready," said Sanchez Laviera. "I even applied fake eyelashes." And the results: "She looks bella," gushed the stylist.
The first viewing was a private family service held yesterday at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on Madison Avenue at 81st Street.
Fans from all over the world waited outside to pay their last respects.
Cruz's husband of 40 years, Pedro Knight (search), arrived at the funeral home with tears in his eyes.
"I'll carry on," he said. "That's what she would have wanted."
Although she underwent brain surgery in December, Cruz continued to work until recently and completed an album slated for release next month. She was always coy about her age, but she was in her late 70s.