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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 73-84
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  • Checking In: Hotel Victor in Miami Beach a treat for the senses on Ocean Drive

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    Humor Hotel: Sound machines
    My girlfriend and I live in Brooklyn, so we can hear the trucks rumbling past our bedroom late at night. It's something you eventually get used to, but it can be a distraction. One evening she leaned over to me and said, "You know what? We should get a...
  • Cuban bassist Cachao dies; mambo pioneer

    Cuban bassist and composer Israel "Cachao" Lopez, who is credited with pioneering the mambo style of music, died Saturday. He was 89. Known simply as Cachao, the Grammy-winning musician had fallen ill in the past week and died surrounded by family...
  • Juanes sweeps Latin Grammys

    Juanes sweeps Latin Grammys
    Juanes has completed a sweep at the Latin Grammys in Houston by taking record of the year honors. By winning the top honor, the Colombian rocker brought his total for the night to five, including trophies for song of the year, album of the year, best...
  • Ana Cristina - The Story

    Ana Cristina - The Story
    Bio: Born in the tropical cosmopolitan city of Miami, Florida on June 2, 1985, Ana Cristina represents the American and Hispanic bicultural influences where she grew up. Since a very early age, the Cuban-American singer's prodigious 5 octave vocal...
  • Gloria es la 'Persona del año' de los Grammy Latinos

    Gloria es la 'Persona del año' de los Grammy Latinos
    Hace ocho años en el Staples Center de Los Ángeles, Emilio Estefan fue reconocido como la Persona del año por la Academia Latina De La Grabación y ayer esta misma organización eligió a su esposa Gloria Estefan como la sucesora del galardón que le fue...
  • La lucha por la supervivencia ha vuelto

    La lucha por la supervivencia ha vuelto
    Los programas de realidad han invadido los canales de televisión. Cientos de programas buscan a las nuevas estrellas de la música o la actuación alrededor del mundo. Hay otros que muestran la “supuesta” intimidad de las estrellas más allá de la pantalla...
  • Gianmarco muestra todo desde adentro

    Gianmarco Zignago, el cantautor peruano, finalizó la grabación de su esperado disco “Desde adentro” bajo la producción del reconocido Áureo Baqueiro, el mismo que ha trabajado junto a Sin Bandera y Alejandro Fernández. Este nuevo disco se hizo en Los...
  • Gloria and Emilio Estefan investing in the Dolphins

     
    Grammy Award-winning singer Gloria Estefan and her Grammy Award-winning producer husband Emilio Estefan are purchasing "a small minority" stake in the Dolphins, a source said Monday. The Estefans and Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross are to announce the...
  • More Gloria Estefan and the Dolphins

     
    Just as news was breaking Monday that she and her husband have agreed to buy a small minority stake in the Dolphins, Gloria Estefan was taping an updated Monday Night Football video for the 2009 season with Hank Williams Jr.......