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Forever Latino Stamps

By Julio Obscura
On April 9, 2011

The United States Postal Service unveiled its latest set of Latino "forever" stamps at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas, March 16, 2011. Five legends of the Latino music—Selena, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz—were honored on U.S. commemorative Forever stamps.

The "forever" stamp is a postage stamp in the United States that is valid for First-Class postage no matter when it is used. By concept, once purchased, a "forever" stamp is a stamp that never expires or declines in value.

For these stamps, artist Rafael Lopez, of San Diego, CA, painted semi-realistic portraits of each musical artist designed to represent their, vitality, personality and even their vibrant sounds.

Families of the Latin legends received an Epiphone commemorative guitar with the "forever" stamp hand painted over it from President of Epiphone Jim Rosenberg.  Amongst the families of the legends included Selena's parents and brother, A.B. Quintanilla, and Celia Cruz's niece, Celia Cody. Celia Cody said, "The image of Celia is so life like it's so her. We are so honored to have this as part of our family legacy."

"From this day forward, these colorful, vibrant images of our Latin music legends will travel on letters and packages to every single household in America," said Marie Therese Dominguez, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy.

The very special morning concluded with a tremendous special guest, Grupo Fantasma. Grupo Fantasma is an Emmy award winning samba band from Austin, which finished the event by playing a couple of songs by Celia Cruz and Tito Puente.

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