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Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan is an internationally known singer and one of the leading exponents of the Miami Sound - a fusion of Latin rhythms and international pop.

Born Gloria Maria Fajardo on Sept. 1, 1957 in Havana, Cuba, she rose to fame as the lead singer for the Miami Sound Machine. She was 17 and just finished with a Catholic girls' school in 1975 when she sang her first ballad with a then-unknown band called the Miami Latin Boys. The group later became the Miami Sound Machine, with Estefan as its leader.

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Gloria Estefan is an internationally known singer and one of the leading exponents of the Miami Sound - a fusion of Latin rhythms and international pop.

Born Gloria Maria Fajardo on Sept. 1, 1957 in Havana, Cuba, she rose to fame as the lead singer for the Miami Sound Machine. She was 17 and just finished with a Catholic girls' school in 1975 when she sang her first ballad with a then-unknown band called the Miami Latin Boys. The group later became the Miami Sound Machine, with Estefan as its leader.

[Sample songs by Gloria Estefan with iTunes here.]

In the late 1980s Billboard magazine named it one of the most successful pop bands in the country. Her father, Jose Fajardo, was a champion volleyball player in Cuba and a member of the motorcycle escort that guarded the wife of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. After Fidel Castro's revolution overthrew Batista's government in 1959, the Fajardos left for the United States. Gloria was 1 year old. Her father participated in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion that tried to reclaim Cuba from Castro in 1961, but was captured and held in a Cuban jail for more than a year. After Jose Fajardo was released he joined the U.S. Army and moved his family to Texas. He served in Vietnam and came back to Miami in 1968. He suffered from a variety of ailments, including multiple sclerosis that could have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

Gloria's mother, also named Gloria, supported the family. Her daughter took refuge in music, singing for hours. After high school at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in southwest Miami, she began college at the University of Miami. In 1975, after hearing Gloria at a church gathering, a Cuban emigre named Emilio Estefan Jr., invited her to sing with his band, the Miami Latin Boys. She agreed to learn the band's salsa tunes if she could also sing ballads.

The Estefans married after she graduated from college in 1979 with a psychology degree. Their son Nayib was born the next year. (A daughter, Emily, was born 13 years later.) The Miami Sound Machine recorded a few albums, mostly in Spanish, and toured Latin America before rising on the Billboard charts in 1985 with "Dr. Beat," the English-language version of a Spanish song. They followed it with "Conga," a Top Ten Hit that is still a popular number. Other hits included "Betcha Say That," "1-2-3 "and "Rhythm is Gonna Get You."

As the band's lead singer, Gloria Estefan achieved national acclaim and became one of the biggest Cuban-American names in the country. She earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. She suffered a setback in 1990, when she was involved in a bus accident on a snow-covered highway near the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. She shattered two vertebrae in her back, but she eventually recovered.

Gloria Estefan is also known for her community service. After Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida in 1992, she spearheaded a Hurricane Relief concert which raised $2 million for victims. The Estefan's also campaigned successfully for safer boating regulations after a tourist on a personal watercraft attempted to jump the wake of their boat, but instead flipped under the boat's propeller and was killed. The accident happened in 1995.

Her recordings include two Grammy-winning Spanish albums, "Mi Tierra" and "Abriendo Puertas." She recently released "90 Millas," which updates classic Cuban songs from the genres of son and bolero.

Gloria and her husband Emilio own the company Estefan Enterprises. They currently live in Miami on Star Island.
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Top Gloria Estefan Articles

Displaying items 12-22
  • Holiday music specials on TV 2012

     
    Updated Nov. 30, 2012, 12:15pm CT You know it's the holiday season when the sounds of joyous carols fill the air (and sometimes those sounds start even earlier than the holiday season, with many radio stations kicking into Christmas mode the day after...
  • Gloria Estefan on new music competition show 'The Next'

    Gloria Estefan on new music competition show 'The Next'
    Gloria Estefan stopped by WGN Midday News to talk about her involvement in a new CW music competition television show, "The Next." "The Next" will spotlight mentors who travel the country in search of an undiscovered star. The four mentors include Nelly,...
  • Prepare yourself for gawk-apalooza

    Prepare yourself for gawk-apalooza
    There isn't going to be a better time all year for star sightings in Chicago than this weekend. Lollapalooza will not only bring 100-plus acts to the city, but also draw dozens of celebrities who are just as excited as the rest of us to watch their...
  • Gloria Estefan and other artists mentor singers in Dallas for new talent show "The Next"

    Gloria Estefan and other artists mentor singers in Dallas for new talent show "The Next"
    Not only does Remington sings but he also performs and he's hoping his voice will be "The Next" to rock the music world. "I just sit there and go yep, I'm going to soak all this up so it's amazing", Remington said. He's getting coached by one of the...
  • Can Your Child Be 'The Next' Star?

    Can Your Child Be 'The Next' Star?
    We learned about the CW's latest show 'The Next' and a couple of tips from Julia Samerbosa about getting your child into show business. In each episode of "The Next," four music industry superstars Gloria Estefan, John Rich, Nelly, and Joe Jonas will...
  • For Jon Secada, a sort of homecoming

    For Jon Secada, a sort of homecoming
    Thanks to a healthy lifestyle and strength training, Jon Secada says he's in the best shape of his life. The Latin crooner shows off his toned, muscular body in the video for his new single, "Never Too Far Away." In the video, which was filmed at the...
  • Gloria and Emilio Estefan Broadway bound

    Gloria and Emilio Estefan Broadway bound
    SoFlo's first family of music - Gloria and Emilio Estefan - just announced today that they are taking their songs and their story to Broadway. Teaming up with the Nederlander Organization, the dynamic duo say the musical will detail their journey from...
  • The 'Austrian Scorsese' sets his sights on South Florida

    The 'Austrian Scorsese' sets his sights on South Florida
    When Austrian video director Rudi Dolezal decided to buy a second home and expand his business in the United States, South Florida was his top choice. "I came to a point in Europe, having worked for Queen and the Rolling Stones, where my job started...
  • 'The Next' recap, Virginia's Jordan Baird wins Baltimore competition

    'The Next' recap, Virginia's Jordan Baird wins Baltimore competition
    Last month, the CW came to Baltimore to film an episode of its new reality singing competition, "The Next: Fame is at Your Doorstep." On it, Joe Jonas, Nelly, Gloria Estefan and John Rich took 72 hours to coach four unsigned  performers, who sang for a...
  • Allison Hagendorf Talks About Hosting New CW Talent Show 'The Next'

    Allison Hagendorf Talks About Hosting New CW Talent Show 'The Next'
    Allison Hagendorf, the host of "The Next" which airs on PIX11, stops by to talk about the show and we talks about her other talents. In each episode of THE NEXT, four music industry superstars -- Gloria Estefan, John Rich, Nelly, and Joe Jonas -- will...
  • 'Dancing with the Stars' recap: Week 5, Latin night performances

    'Dancing with the Stars' recap: Week 5, Latin night performances
    Apparently, the ballroom was "shellshocked" by last week's bottom two. The ballroom needs to toughen up. Tonight is Latin night. I hope that doesn't mean every other dance is a rumba — booooorrrrring. ¬†We start with Carlos Santana performing "Evil...