Estefan, Gloria (1957–)

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Estefan, Gloria (1957–)

The Cubanborn singer and songwriter Gloria Estefan, born September 1, 1957, has sold more than 70 million recordings during a career built on a Caribbean-influenced mix of dance tunes, ballads, and pop music. Born Gloria Fajardo in Havana, she immigrated to Miami with her family in 1959 following the Cuban revolution. In 1977 she joined the Miami Sound Machine (known at the time as the Miami Latin Boys), a group led by keyboardist Emilio Estefan, Jr., whom she married in 1978. With her, the group recorded a series of Spanish-language albums that earned them a following in Central and South America. Their first English-language album, 1984's Eyes of Innocence, earned them a gold record and subsequent English-language hits such as "Conga," "Bad Boy," "Words Get in the Way," "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," and "1, 2, 3" all reached the Top 10 on the U.S. Billboard pop charts, transforming Estefan into an international star. A 1990 tour bus accident sidelined her for almost a year, but she returned in January 1991, performing at the televised American Music Awards. In 1993, she recorded Mi Tierra, an album of Cuban songs from her youth, and in succeeding years has released a series of records in both English and Spanish. As a collaborator, she has written and produced songs for Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and Shakira, among others. In addition to her musical activities, Estefan has appeared in the films Music of the Heart (1999) and For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000). While she generally avoids overt political references in her music, as a Cuban exile, Estefan is an outspoken critic of the socialist government in Cuba.

See alsoMusic: Popular Music and Dance .


Niurka, Norma. "'Abriendo Puertas,' un canto a Latinoamérica." El Nuevo Herald (Miami), September 26, 1995.

Taylor, Chuck. "Gloria Estefan: A Return to the Spotlight." Billboard, October 11, 2003: 21, 26, 44.

                                      Andrew Connell

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