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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 13-24
  • 'So You Think You Can Dance': lots of props, plenty of awesome dancing

     
    John-John Williams IV is in Chicago at a hotel that does not have Fox (to our disbelief). So I'm filling in and recapping a well-danced So You Think You Can Dance. There's new partnering tonight (again). Each pair will dance......
  • Four score and seven sandwiches ago

     
    No, Owl Meat didn't abandon us today. He's back with an even more Funtastic Thursday than usual.Here's Owlie...'Portrait of the Artist as a Funtastic Tyke. How adorable is Little Owl Meat? Look closely and you will see that I was......
  • Gloria Estefan musical, 'On Your Feet!,' coming to Broadway in 2015

    Gloria Estefan musical, 'On Your Feet!,' coming to Broadway in 2015
    The rhythm is gonna get Broadway next year when a new musical based on the life of pop singer Gloria Estefan and her husband opens at the Marquis Theatre in New York. "On Your Feet!" is scheduled to begin previews in New York on Oct. 5. 2015,...
  • Star sighting: Gloria Estefan at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

     
    Singer Gloria Estefan got her best vampire look going over the weekend as she moonlighted as a “scare actor” at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. Estefan, a frequent guest during the event's 22-year run, experienced HHN this year with her...
  • Eustis singer wins recording contract, CW show

     
    A 24-year-old country singer from Eustis won the “Next” talent show and a recording contract from  Atlantic Records Thursday night. Michael Ray learned he had won the CW  competition after fans voted during the live telecast. “You earned...
  • Eustis singer a strong contender on ‘The Next,’ a ratings flop

     
    THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED: What if they staged a singing contest and almost nobody watched? The CW is experiencing this situation with “The Next,” which had only 630,000 viewers nationwide Tuesday night. In the same 9 p.m. time slot, “...
  • This week: Barack Obama-Mitt Romney debate; Orlando talent on ‘Hart of Dixie,’ ‘The Next’

     
    The first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is likely to dominate discussion this week. The debate starts at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday in Denver. It will play on cable news channels. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will preempt their regular...
  • Abby Lee Miller interview: Abby talks “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition” “Dance Moms” and more

     
    She’s the oft-authoritarian, second generation dance teacher who a handful of Pittsburgh mothers and millions of happily scandalized viewers love and loathe — and sometimes both at once  — on Lifetime’s reality smash Dance Moms....
  • 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 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...
  • 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...