Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan

Born: September 1, 1957
Age: 66
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Gloria Estefan (born Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo;[1] September 1, 1957) is a Cuban-American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She started her career as the lead singer in the group "Miami Latin Boys" which later became known as Miami Sound Machine.

Estefan experienced worldwide success with "Conga" in 1985. The song became Estefan's signature song and led to the Miami Sound Machine winning the grand prix in the 15th annual Tokyo Music Festival in 1986. In the middle of 1988, she and the band got their first number-one hit for the song "Anything for You." She is a contralto.

In March 1990, Estefan had a severe accident in her tour bus. She made her comeback in March 1991 with a new world tour and album called Into The Light. Her 1993 Spanish-language album, Mi Tierra, won the first of her three Grammy Awards for Best Tropical Latin Album. It was the first number-one album on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, established when it was released. It was also the first Diamond album in Spain. Many of her songs, such as "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "1-2-3," "Get On Your Feet," "Here We Are," "Coming Out of the Dark," "Bad Boy," "Oye!," "Party Time" and a remake of "Turn the Beat Around" became international chart-topping hits. Estefan has sold an estimated 115 million records worldwide, including 31.5 million in the United States alone.

She has won three Grammy Awards and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Las Vegas Walk of Fame. In 2015, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contributions to American music and received the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2017 for her contributions to American Culture Life. Estefan also won an MTV Video Music Award, she was honored with the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement, as well as being named BMI Songwriter of the Year. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has received multiple Billboard Awards. She is also on the list of VH1 top 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and in Billboard's Top 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time.

Gloria Estefan (née María Milagrosa Fajardo) was born into a middle-class household on September 1, 1957 in Havana, Cuba, to parents José Fajardo (1933-1980)[2] and Gloria García (1930-2017).[3] Estefan's maternal grandparents were Spanish immigrants. Her maternal grandfather, Leonardo García, immigrated to Cuba from Pola de Siero, Asturias, Spain, where he married Gloria's grandmother, Consuelo Perez, who was originally from Logroño, Spain. Consuelo's father Pantaleón Perez served as the head chef during the tenure of two Cuban presidents at the Cuban White House.[4][5][6] Estefan's paternal side also had musical sensibilities, as the lineage had a famous flautist and a classical pianist.[7]

During her childhood, Estefan's mother Gloria Fajardo (nicknamed "Big Gloria") won an international contest and received a Hollywood offer to dub Shirley Temple's films in Spanish.[8][9] However, Leonardo García did not permit his daughter to pursue the offer.[10] Gloria Fajardo would earn a Ph.D. in education in Cuba. However, her degrees were destroyed upon fleeing to the United States during the Cuban Revolution.[11]

Estefan's paternal grandparents were José Manuel Fajardo González (who ran one of the first Cuban restaurants in Miami, Florida) and Amelia Montano (who was a poet).[12][13][14] Estefan also had uncles who were singer-songwriters.[14] Her father José was a Cuban soldier and a motor escort for the wife of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. As a result of the Cuban Revolution, the Fajardo family fled to Miami, Florida in 1959 and settled there. Soon after they moved to the United States, José joined the United States military and fought in the Vietnam War and moved to Houston after his participation in the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. During the Bay of Pigs Invasion, José had been captured by his cousin (who was a member of Fidel Castro’s army) and imprisoned in Cuba for nearly two years.[3]

Soon after returning from the Vietnam War in 1968, Estefan's father became ill with multiple sclerosis. His condition was attributed to the Agent Orange poisoning that he suffered in Vietnam.[9] She helped her mother Gloria care for him until the age of sixteen, as her father's condition had grown so severe that he had to be hospitalized at a Veterans Administration medical facility.[15][16] She also took care of her younger sister Rebecca (nicknamed "Becky"; b. 1963) due to her mother having to work diligently to support the family. Gloria Fajardo first had to regain her teaching credentials. She then worked as a schoolteacher for the Dade County Public School system.[17][18]

Estefan became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1974, under the name Gloria Garcia Fajardo, reflecting the switch from Spanish naming customs (father's surname then mother's surname) to English (mother's maiden name as middle name and father's surname last).



Estefan was raised Catholic and attended St. Michael-Archangel School and Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Miami.[19] She graduated from college in 1979 with a B.A. in psychology, with a minor in French, from the University of Miami. When Estefan was studying at the university, she worked as an English/Spanish/French translator at Miami International Airport Customs Department and, because of her language abilities, was once approached by the CIA as a possible employee.[20]


Mid-1970s through the 1980s

See Miami Sound Machine for more details.

In 1975, Gloria and her cousin Mercedes "Merci" Navarro (1957-2007)[21] met Emilio Estefan, Jr. while performing at a church ensemble rehearsal. Estefan, who had formed the band the Miami Latin Boys earlier that year, learned about Gloria through a mutual acquaintance. While the Miami Latin Boys were performing at a Cuban wedding at Hotel Dupont, Gloria and Merci (who were wedding guests) performed two Cuban standards impromptu. They impressed the Miami Latin Boys so much that they were invited to join the band permanently with the band's name changing to Miami Sound Machine. Gloria, who was attending the University of Miami at the time, only agreed to perform during the weekends so that her studies would not be interrupted.[19]

Beginning in 1977, Miami Sound Machine began recording and releasing various albums and 45s on the Audiofon Records label in Miami. The first album from 1977 was entitled Live Again/Renacer and was released with two different covers. After several more releases on the Audiofon label as well as the RCA Victor label and Miami Sound Machine's own label MSM Records, the band was signed to Discos CBS International and released several albums, 45s, and 12"s beginning with the 1978 self-titled album Miami Sound Machine. Growing in popularity in both the U.S. and around the world, the group would continue recording and issuing various works for Discos CBS International through 1985.[22] It was also in 1978 that Gloria married Emilio Estefan, Jr. after two years of dating.

In 1984, Miami Sound Machine released their first Epic/Columbia album, Eyes of Innocence, which contained the dance hit "Dr. Beat" as well as the ballad "I Need Your Love."[23] Their more successful follow-up album Primitive Love was released in 1985 launching three Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Conga" (U.S. No. 10), "Words Get in the Way" (U.S. No. 5), and "Bad Boy" (U.S. No. 8), as well as "Falling in Love (Uh-Oh)" (U.S. No. 25) which became follow up hits in the U.S. and around the world. "Words Get in the Way" reached No. 1 on the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, establishing that the group could perform pop ballads as successfully as dance tunes. The song "Hot Summer Nights" was also released that year and was part of the film Top Gun.[24]

Their next album, 1987's Let It Loose, went multi-platinum, with three million copies sold in the US alone. It featured the following hits: "Anything for You" (No. 1 Hot 100), "1-2-3" (No. 3 Hot 100), "Betcha Say That" (No. 36 Hot 100), "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" (No. 5 Hot 100), and "Can't Stay Away from You" (No. 6 Hot 100). "Can't Stay Away From You," "Anything for You," and "1-2-3" were all No. 1 Adult Contemporary hits as well. In that same year, Estefan took top billing and the band's name changed to Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine.[25]

In 1989, the group's name was dropped, and Estefan has been credited as a solo artist ever since.[26] In 1988, after the worldwide chart success of single "Anything for You," her Let it Loose album was repackaged as Anything for You.[27]

1989: Cuts Both Ways and tour bus collision

In late 1989, she released her best-selling album to date, Cuts Both Ways. The album included the hit singles "Don't Wanna Lose You" (Hot 100 No. 1 hit), "Oye mi Canto," "Here We Are," "Cuts Both Ways" (No. 1 on the U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart), and "Get on Your Feet."

While touring in support of Cuts Both Ways on March 20, 1990, near Scranton, Pennsylvania, Estefan was critically injured, suffering a fractured spine when a semi-truck crashed into the tour bus she was in during a snowstorm. Estefan was returning from a meeting with President George Bush to discuss participation in an anti-drugs campaign.[28] She was taken to Community Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit and the next day was flown by helicopter to New York City, where surgeons at the Hospital for Joint Diseases at NYU Langone Medical Center permanently implanted two titanium rods to stabilize her vertebral column. Her rehabilitation required almost a year of intensive physical therapy and she noted that "there were times when the pain was so bad I prayed I'd pass out." However, she achieved a complete recovery and returned to an international tour ten months after the collision.[29]

1991-1992: Into The Light and Greatest Hits

In 1991, Estefan returned to the charts with the concept album Into the Light. In January of the same year, she performed "Coming Out of the Dark" for the first time on the American Music Awards to a standing ovation.[30] Within months after the performance, "Coming Out of the Dark" reached No. 1 in the U.S. as a single.[31] Other notable singles from Into the Light were "Seal Our Fate" and "Live for Loving You." The album became her highest debut, as it peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard album chart (it also peaked at No. 2 on the British albums chart). The album eventually went platinum in the UK and double platinum in the US.[32]

She released Gloria Estefan Greatest Hits in 1992, and the album included the U.S. hit ballads "Always Tomorrow" and "I See Your Smile" along with the international hit dance track "Go Away."[33] The same year, Estefan sang backup vocals on fellow Cuban-American singer-songwriter Jon Secada's breakthrough single "Just Another Day."[34]

1993: Mi Tierra and Christmas Through Your Eyes

In June 1993, Estefan released her first Spanish-language album Mi Tierra. Mi Tierra peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard album chart and No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart. In the US, the singles "Mi Tierra," the romantic-tropical ballad "Con Los Años Que Me Quedan," and "Mi Buen Amor" all climbed to No. 1 on the "Hot Latin Tracks" chart. The album sold over eight million copies worldwide—going on to become multi-platinum in Spain (10 times) and in the US (16 times; Platinum - Latin field), and earning the Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album.[35]

In September 1993, Estefan released her first Christmas album, Christmas Through Your Eyes. It was also notable as being the first album from Estefan that was not produced by her husband. The album included the singles "This Christmas" and "Silent Night," and went Platinum in the US.[36]

1994-1997: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Abriendo Puertas, and Destiny

Estefan released Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me in October 1994, a cover album featuring some of her favorite songs from the 1960s and 1970s. The album included her remake of the disco hit "Turn The Beat Around."[37]

Her 1995 second Spanish-language album, Abriendo Puertas, earned Estefan her second Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album. It spun off two No. 1 dance hits ("Abriendo Puertas" and "Tres Deseos") and two No. 1 Latin singles ("Abriendo Puertas" and "Más Allá").[38]

In 1996, Estefan released her platinum-selling album Destiny which featured "Reach." The song served as the official theme of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.[39] Estefan performed "Reach" and "You'll Be Mine" at the Summer Olympics closing ceremony.[40] On July 18, 1996, Estefan embarked on her first tour in five years—the Evolution World Tour—which covered the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia.[41]

1998-2001: gloria! and Alma Caribeña

On June 2, 1998, she released her eighth solo album (twenty-first overall when considering her work with Miami Sound Machine) gloria!. The album blended disco with Salsa music percussion and Latin flavor. The album peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard 200[42] and reached Gold certification. The single "Oye!" peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play and the Hot Latin Tracks charts. The other major hit single releases were "Don't Let This Moment End" (which peaked at No. 76 on the Billboard Hot 100) and "Heaven's What I Feel" (which peaked at No. 27 on the Hot 100).[43]

In 1999, Estefan performed with 'N Sync on the single "Music of My Heart"—a song featured in the film Music of the Heart in which she also appeared. The song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard chart and was nominated for an Academy Award.[44] She also released a Latin hit with the Brazilian group So Pra Contrariar called "Santo Santo," which she sang with Luciano Pavarotti in Pavarotti and Friends for Guatemala and Kosovo.[45]

The next album Alma Caribeña (Caribbean Soul) was released in May 2000. It was her third Spanish language album with a focus on Caribbean rhythms. The album featured several Latin Hits such as "No Me Dejes De Querer," "Como Me Duele Perderte," and "Por Un Beso." The album earned Estefan her third Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album in 2001.[46]

2003-2007: Unwrapped, 90 Millas and compilations

In 2003, Estefan released Unwrapped (her first English-language CD in five years). To promote the CD, she toured Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S.[47] "Hoy" and "Tu Fotografía" both reached No. 1 on Billboard's Latin chart and "I Wish You" reached the Adult Contemporary Charts top 20. The Live & Re-Wrapped Tour (which featured Estefan's greatest hits)was produced by Clear Channel Entertainment, and played 26 cities upon launching in Hidalgo, Texas on July 30, 2004.[48] The final concert of the tour took place in Estefan's hometown of Miami during the weekend of October 9-10, 2004.

On April 7, 2005, Estefan participated in "Selena ¡VIVE!," a tribute concert for the "Queen of Tejano" Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. Estefan performed one of Selena's posthumously released crossover hits "I Could Fall in Love."[49] Also that year, Estefan sang "Young Hearts Run Free" on the soundtrack for the television series Desperate Housewives.[50]

In late 2005, the club mash-up "Dr. Pressure" was released, and the song combined Mylo's No. 19 hit "Drop The Pressure" with the Miami Sound Machine's "Dr. Beat." It reached No. 3 on the UK singles chart and No. 1 on the Australian dance chart.[51][52]

Estefan performs at an event to celebrate the United Through Reading program aboard the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), September 14, 2006

In October 2006, Sony released a 2-CD compilation The Essential Gloria Estefan, featuring her hits from 1984 to 2003, Estefan made several radio and television appearances to promote The Essential Gloria Estefan. She released two additional similar compilation albums that year for other markets. The Very Best of Gloria Estefan was released in Europe and Mexico. The album was similar to The Essential Gloria Estefan, but also included as the bonus track "Dr. Pressure." This compilation was certified Gold in Ireland.[53] Oye Mi Canto!: Los Grandes Exitos featured a collection of her Spanish-language hits and was released in Spain.[54]

Estefan released the Spanish recording 90 Millas on September 18, 2007. The album was produced by Emilio Estefan and Gaitan Bros (Gaitanes), and composed by Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Ricardo Gaitán and Alberto Gaitán. The title alludes to the distance between Miami and Cuba. The album skyrocketed to No.1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. The first single called "No llores" came out on the market. The song was positioned in the United States in the Latin categories of Billboard. The album managed to position itself number in the Netherlands. In the United States it was ranked No. 25 on the Billboard 200 list, selling 25,000 units in its first week. In Spain he debuted at No. 3 and was awarded a gold record for his high sales. In 2008, she won two Latin Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Tropical Album and Best Tropical Song ("Pintame de Colores").

2008-2009: Guest appearances and performances

Estefan in February 2009

In 2008, Estefan appeared during the seventh season of American Idol for the special charity episode "Idol Gives Back." She performed her song "Get on Your Feet" along with Sheila E. The song was released at the American iTunes Store, and the video of the performance reached No. 20 of the store's Top 100 videos.[55] Estefan became the headliner of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino's new venue.[56] She then headed to Canada to perform at the Casino Rama. In August, she started her "90 Millas World Tour." Estefan played concerts in London, Rotterdam, Belfast and Aruba. Estefan performed several concerts in Spain, specifically Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Tenerife. Two of these concerts, in Las Ventas, Spain,[57] and Rotterdam, The Netherlands, were free to the public.

Back in the states, Estefan performed a special concert at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to raise funds for the Education of South Florida.[58] Estefan was a headliner for Bette Midler's "Annual Hulaween Gala" along with other special guests such as Kathy Griffin and a costume contest judged by Michael Kors. The event benefited the New York Restoration Project.[59]

During the Thanksgiving season, Estefan appeared on Rosie O'Donnell's television special Rosie Live singing a duet with O'Donnell titled "Gonna Eat For Thanksgiving," an alternate version of "Gonna Eat For Christmas" from on O'Donnell's album A Rosie Christmas. In 2009, Estefan announced plans for her "farewell tour" of Latin America and South America. The tour continued with a concert at Guadalajara in Mexico, as part of a program designed to improve tourism in Mexico,[60] and a series of appearances at music festivals throughout Europe, including headlining at the Summer Pops Music Festival in Liverpool on July 27, 2009.[61]

The same year, Estefan opened the "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina 2009" with "No Llores." Also, at the end, Estefan together with Jennifer Lopez, Thalía, Marc Anthony, José Feliciano, performed a rendition of her Spanish-language classic, "Mi Tierra."[62]

In 2009, the albums Eyes of Innocence, Primitive Love and Let It Loose were re-released in Japan.[63] Sony UK re-released several of Estefan's hit albums into mini LP CDs with the titles Anything For You, Cuts Both Ways and Into The Light. Lastly, US Sony released Playlist: The Very Best of Gloria Estefan.[64]

2010-2011: Miss Little Havana

Estefan began 2010 with a charity single: she and her husband, producer Emilio Estefan, Jr., invited artists to record "Somos El Mundo," a Spanish-language version of Michael Jackson's song "We Are The World." The song, written by Estefan and approved by Quincy Jones, was recorded and premiered during El Show de Cristina on March 1, 2010.[65] All of the proceed money went to Haitian relief.[66][67]

On March 24, 2010, Estefan led a march down Miami's Calle Ocho in support of Cuba's Las Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White).[68] Las Damas de Blanco is an opposition movement in Cuba that consists of wives and other female relatives of jailed dissidents. Since 2003, the women have protested the imprisonments by attending Mass each Sunday wearing white dresses and then silently walking through the streets in white clothing.[69] Later that year, Estefan took part in Broadway's "24 Hour Plays" in which actors, writers, and directors collaborate to produce and perform six one-act plays within 24 hours to benefit the Urban Arts Partnership. She performed alongside actors Elijah Wood, Diane Neal, and Alicia Witt in the play I Think You'll Love This One, written by the 20-year-old winner of the Montblanc writers' project, Elizabeth Cruz Cortes.[70]

In Spring 2011, Sony Music Europe released part 2 of the Original Album Classics comprising five classic albums: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me; Abriendo Puertas; Destiny; Gloria!; Alma Caribena on mini LP CDs.[71]

On April 7, 2011, Estefan made an unannounced appearance at the auditions for The X Factor in Miami, and gave encouragement to the 7,500 participants gathered outside the Bank United Center for auditions.[72]

In 2011, Estefan was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame along with Grammy and Emmy award winner Harry Connick Jr. Both singers performed at a special concert on June 17, 2011, with Thomas Wilkins as musical conductor. Proceeds from this event went to benefit the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute's education programs.[73]

Estefan's new dance-oriented studio album, Miss Little Havana, was released in the U.S. on September 27, 2011, with the physical CD available exclusively at Target.[74][75] Early on, Estefan had described the album as a project in the vein of her 1998 hit album gloria!; Collaborating with her on it were producers Pharrell Williams, Motiff, Emilio Estefan, and Drop Dead Beats.[76]

One song from the album, "Wepa," premiered on May 31, 2011 at AmericanAirlines Arena in a special music video of the song for the Miami Heat. The Heat video was released on YouTube on June 1.[77][78] The song went on sale for digital downloading at the iTunes Store on July 24.[79] Both "Wepa" and "Hotel Nacional" achieved No. 1 on Billboard Latin Songs and on Dance/Club Chart. In the fall of 2011, during an interview to promote Miss Little Havana, Estefan expressed her views on gay rights and gay marriage and said that she was a strong supporter of both. When asked if she was a supporter of gay marriage, she replied: "Of course I am. I think everyone should be able to marry who they love, and it should just be." Estefan has also recorded a video for the It Gets Better campaign, an organization which aims to prevent homophobic bullying.[80]

In November 2011, Estefan began hosting Gloria Estefan's Latin Beat, a seven-part series for BBC Radio 2 in the United Kingdom that explores the history of Latin music.[81]

2012-2015: The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep and The Standards

Estefan started a reality show called The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep opposite Joe Jonas, Nelly and John Rich on the CW Network, where she and the other three mentors searched for the next big Atlantic Records recording artist. Unlike other music reality shows, the mentors selected the "candidates" for the show and trained them for a live performance, where they'd be voted for the best act of the day.

This same year, Estefan appeared as a musical guest in Tony Bennett's compilation of duets with Latin-American musicians, Viva Duets with a rendition of the song, "Who Can I Turn To." Weeks later, she helped the American version of Teleton, releasing the charity single "Por Un Mundo Mejor" along with Mexican singer Lucero, Dominican rapper El Cata and Mexican pop band, Reik.[82] A video for the song was shot, with them recording the song, which was marked as the official hymn for the foundation.

In May 2013, she appears doing another duet with the song "Think I'm in Love Again" as part of the albums Duets released by Paul Anka. That same month, in parts of Europe, Sony Music released a 2 CDs collection call The Dutch Collections, this compilation includes all of Gloria Estefan 32 hits including "Hot Summer Nights," never been released before on any of Estefan albums.

In September 2013, Estefan released The Standards.[83][71] The album features some collaborations with artists like Laura Pausini, Dave Koz and Joshua Bell, and a selection of songs from the Great American songbook. The album reached No. 20 on the US Billboard 200 chart marking her first top 20 album on the chart since 1994's Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me. The first single from the album was "How Long Has This Been Going On?."

In April 2014, Gloria and her husband Emilio, were honored at the 2014 "Power of Love Event for Keep Memory Alive" in Las Vegas, where big names of the musical industry such as Ricky Martin, Rita Moreno offered the couple a tribute to their music.

Gloria joined Carlos Santana on his new album Corazon in a song called "Besos de lejos."

Estefan released Soy Mujer, on Sony Latin on June 23, 2015. The album consists of Estefan's greatest Spanish-language hits.

Other work

Estefan in Narciso Rodriguez

Stage musical

A jukebox musical, On Your Feet!, about the life of Gloria and Emilio Estefan premiered on Broadway November 5, 2015.[84] The musical premiered at the Oriental Theater, Chicago, running from June 17, 2015 - July 5, 2015. Directed by Jerry Mitchell, the choreography is by Sergio Trujillo and the book by Alexander Dinelaris. The Chicago cast featured Ana Villafañe as Gloria and Josh Segarra as Emilio.[85] The musical opened on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre on October 5, 2015 (preview shows) and November 5, 2015 (official release date).[86]

Film and television appearances

Estefan has appeared in two films, Music of the Heart (1999) and For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000). Estefan made a cameo appearance with her husband in Marley & Me (2008).

Estefan was cast to star as Connie Francis, a U.S. pop singer of the 1950s and early 1960s, in the biographical film Who's Sorry Now? According to Parade magazine (March 23, 2008), filming supposedly began in late 2008. In an interview with, Estefan stated that the film would be released in 2009. However, as of December 2009, the film was dropped as Connie Francis had irreconcilable differences with Estefan over the film's writer. Francis wanted to hire writer Robert L. Freedman, who had written the Emmy Award winning mini-series Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. Estefan, according to Francis, refused to consider him and the project collaboration thus ended.[87]

Estefan appeared in the ABC television special Elmopalooza (which aired on February 20, 1998) in which she sang the song "Mambo, I, I, I." In April 2004, Estefan appeared on the Fox Broadcasting Company's program American Idol as a guest mentor for the contestants during Latin Week.[88]

After campaigning heavily for the part on her social media accounts, Estefan was invited to guest star on the Fox television series Glee as the mother of cheerleader Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera).[89] She also appeared as a mentor for the CW Network reality series The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep.

Estefan will be play Mirtha, the baby sister and arch nemesis of Lydia Margarita del Carmen Inclán Maribona Leyte-Vidal de Riera in season 3 of the Netflix series One Day at a Time.[90]


Estefan has written two children's books: The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog (2005) and Noelle's Treasure Tale (2006). The latter book spent a week at No. 3 on the New York Times Bestseller list for children's books.[91]

She also collaborated on a cookbook with her husband entitled Estefan Kitchen, which was published in 2008. It contains 60 traditional Cuban recipes.[92]

Other business ventures and appearances

The Cardozo hotel on Ocean Drive, in Miami Beach, Florida.

Gloria and Emilio Estefan own several business establishments, including several Cuban-themed restaurants (Bongos Cuban Café; Larios on the Beach). The restaurants are located in Miami Beach, downtown Miami (part of the American Airlines Arena), at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, Walt Disney World's Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida, and in Miami International Airport. They also own two hotels: Costa d'Este[93] in Vero Beach (opened in 2008),[94] The Cardozo in Miami Beach.

Estefan was appointed to the board of directors for Univision Communications Inc. in 2007.[95] The Estefans' estimated net worth has been reported variously as between $500[96] and $700 million.[97]

In June 2009, Estefan and her husband became the first Hispanics to buy a minor ownership stake in an NFL team, the Miami Dolphins.[98][99][100]

She spoke at TEDx Via della Conciliazione on April 19, 2013 on the theme "Religious freedom today."[101][102]

Personal life

Gloria and Emilio Estefan at the 2014 Miami International Film Festival

Estefan became romantically involved with the Miami Sound Machine's band leader, Emilio Estefan, in 1976. As she later revealed, "he was my first and only boyfriend." They married on September 2, 1978 and have a son, Nayib (born September 2, 1980), and a daughter, Emily (born December 5, 1994).[19] The family lives on Star Island.

Emily is a recording artist. Nayib is an aspiring filmmaker and owner of the Nite Owl Theater in Miami, Florida.[103][104] On June 5, 2010, Nayib married Lara Diamante Coppola in the backyard of his parents' house. On June 21, 2012, the first Estefan grandchild was born: grandson Sasha Argento Coppola Estefan. Gloria Estefan said that “Sasha Argento,” which means “benefactor of mankind” in Arabic, was a possible name that she and Emilio thought about naming their son Nayib.


Main article: List of awards received by Gloria Estefan

In addition to her three Grammy Awards, Estefan has received many other awards. In May 1993, she received the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest award that can be given to a naturalized U.S. citizen.[105] She has won the Hispanic Heritage Award, an MTV Video Music Award,[106] and the 1993 National Music Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year award. She is the recipient of the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement.[107][108]

She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[109] Her husband, Emilio, a world-renowned music impresario, received a star adjacent to his wife's on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.

Estefan was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in music from the University of Miami in 1993.[110] She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami. In April 2014, Estefan was tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the University of Miami's highest honor society.[111] In 2002, Barry University in Miami bestowed upon her an honorary law degree.[112] She and her husband received honorary doctoral degrees in music from the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2007.[113] She delivered the commencement address to the 2007 graduating class.[114]

In 2002, she received the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Medallion of Excellence for Community Service.[115] The singer was Musicares Person of the Year in 1994.[116] She founded the Gloria Estefan Foundation, which promotes education, health and cultural development.

She has been honored twice by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[117] In 1992, she served as a public member of the U.S. Delegation to the 47th Session of the United Nations' General Assembly Opening Plenary.[118]

Estefan received the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year award at the Latin Grammy Awards in November 2008 in recognition of her twenty-five-year singing career.[119] She is the first female singer to receive this award. She also received the Latin Grammy Award for "Best Traditional Tropical Album" for 90 Millas, and the Latin Grammy Award for "Best Tropical Song" for her single, "Píntame De Colores." This established the first occasion for Estefan to ever win the Grammy Award for a song (either Latin or non-Latin). On March 12, 2009, Estefan was honored as a BMI Icon at the 16th annual BMI Latin Awards. Her catalog includes 22 BMI Latin and Pop Awards, along with 11 BMI Million-Air Awards.[120]

In April 2010, Estefan and her husband received a star in the "Walk of Stars" in Las Vegas for their contribution to music industry.[121] On April 28, 2011, at the Latin Billboard Awards, Estefan was honored with the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award for her philanthropic work.[122]

In 2014, Estefan and her husband received a Caribbean American Mover and Shakers Lifetime Achievement Award, for their contributions to the Hispanic, and multicultural community.[123] In November 2015, it was announced Estefan, along with her husband, would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama for her contributions to American music.[124]

In 2018, Estefan became the first Cuban-American to be named as one of the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2018, it was announced that Estefan and her husband will be awarded with 2019 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. They will be the first married couple and first of Hispanic descent.[105][125]


Main articles: Gloria Estefan albums discography and Gloria Estefan singles discography
  • Live Again/Renacer (1977)
  • Miami Sound Machine (1978)
  • Imported (1979)
  • MSM (1980)
  • Otra Vez (1981)
  • Rio (1982)
  • A Toda Maquina (1984)
  • Eyes of Innocence (1984)
  • Primitive Love (1985)
  • Let It Loose / Anything for You (1987)
  • Cuts Both Ways (1989)
  • Into the Light (1991)
  • Mi Tierra (1993)
  • Christmas Through Your Eyes (1993)
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me (1994)
  • Abriendo Puertas (1995)
  • Destiny (1996)
  • gloria! (1998)
  • Alma Caribeña ~ Caribbean Soul (2000)
  • Unwrapped (2003)
  • 90 Millas (2007)
  • Miss Little Havana (2011)
  • The Standards (2013)


Main article: List of Gloria Estefan concert tours


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Music of the Heart Isabel Vazquez Debut acting performance
2000 Little Angelita Voice Narrator Animated Short Film
2003 Famous: The Making of Unwrapped Herself Album documentary
2007 90 Millas Documentary Herself Album documentary
2007 Your Mommy Kills Animals Herself Documentary
2008 Marley & Me Herself Cameo appearance
2009 G-Force Juárez Voice in the Latin-American version of the film[126]
2010 Recording: The History Of Recorded Music Herself Documentary
2017 A Change of Heart Dr. Farjado
Year Title Role Notes
1986 Club Med TV movie
1989 Postcard From... with Clive James Herself Episode: "Miami"
1993 The Hypnotic World of Paul McKenna Herself
1998 Blue's Clues Herself Episode: "Blue's Birthday"
2000 For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story Emilia Movie
2000 Frasier Maria Episode: "Something About Dr. Mary"
2005 A Capitol Fourth Herself
2006 The Chris Isaak Show Herself Episode: "A Little Help from My Friends"
2009 Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List Herself Episode: "Rosie and Gloria and Griffin... Oh My!"
2010 The Marriage Ref Herself One episode
2011 The X Factor Herself 2 episodes
2012/15 Glee Mrs. Maribel Lopez Episodes: "Goodbye," "A Wedding"
2012 The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep Herself
2016 Jane the Virgin Herself
2019 One Day at a Time Mirtha


  • 1986: Video Éxitos L.D.L Enterprises
  • 1989: Homecoming Concert CMV (US: Platinum)
  • 1990: Evolution CMV (US: Platinum)
  • 1991: Coming Out of the Dark SMV
  • 1992: Into The Light World Tour SMV (US: Platinum)
  • 1995: Everlasting Gloria! EMV (US: Gold)
  • 1996: The Evolution Tour Live in Miami EMV
  • 1998: Don't Stop EMV
  • 2001: Que siga la tradición EMV
  • 2002: Live in Atlantis EMV
  • 2003: Famous (Video journal about making-of Unwrapped LP; included in CD package)
  • 2004: Live & Unwrapped EMV
  • 2007: 90 Millas: the Documentary (Video journal about making-of 90 Millas LP; included in CD package)


  • 2005: The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog. ISBN 0-06-082623-1[127]
  • 2006: Noelle's Treasure Tale: A New Magically Mysterious Adventure ISBN 0060826231[128]
  • 2008: Estefan's Kitchen ISBN 045122518X[129]

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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