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Gloria Estefan (born Gloria María Fajardo García; September 1, 1957) is a Grammy Award-winning Cuban-American singer and songwriter. She is in the top 100 best selling music artists with over 90 million albums sold worldwide, 26.5 million of those in the United States alone. She has won seven Grammy Awards, placing her among the most successful crossover performers in Latin music to date.

Early life and family

Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo was born September 1, 1957 in Havanamarker, Cubamarker, to Jose and Gloria Fajardo. Her mother's father Leonardo Garcia emigrated to Cuba from Pola de Sieromarker, Asturiasmarker, Spain where he married a woman from Logroñomarker, Spain. The family fled to Lafayette, Indianamarker, during the Cuban Revolution. A few years after they moved, Jose joined the US military during the Vietnam War. Her father had been a Cuban soldier and bodyguard of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Career in singing

1980s

1984-1988: The Miami Sound Machine

In the mid-1980s, Gloria Estefan was part of the group Miami Sound Machine. 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". 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. #10), "Words Get In The Way” (U.S. #5), and "Bad Boy" (U.S. #8) became follow up hits in the U.S. and around the world. "Words Get In The Way" reached #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 release that year and was part of the blockbuster movie Top Gun.

Their next album, 1987’s Let It Loose, went multi-platinum, with six million copies sold in the US. It featured the following hits: "Anything For You" (#1 Hot 100), "1, 2, 3" (#3 Hot 100), "Betcha Say That" (#36 Hot 100), "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" (#5 Hot 100), and "Can't Stay Away From You" (#6 Hot 100). "Can’t Stay Away From You," "Anything For You" and "1-2-3" were all #1 Adult Contemporary hits as well.

In 1988, Estefan took top billing and the band’s name changed to Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. Beginning in 1989, the group's name was dropped altogether. Estefan was credited as a solo artist, though the ever-changing line-up of Miami Sound Machine continues as her backing band to this day.

In 1989, after the worldwide chart success of single "Anything For You", her Let it Loose album was repackaged as Anything For You. It became the band's first UK #1 album, selling over a million copies. It was the biggest selling album of the year in The Netherlands, staying at #1 for 22 weeks. The album also took top honors in Australia and Canada, launching Estefan to superstar status.

1990s

1990: Cuts Both Ways and tour bus accident

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" (a Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit), "Oye mi Canto ", "Here We Are", "Cuts Both Ways" (#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, Pennsylvaniamarker, Estefan was critically injured, suffering a fractured spine when a speeding semi-truck crashed into her tour bus. She was taken to Community Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit and the next day was flown by helicopter to New York Citymarker, where surgeons at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases permanently implanted two titanium rods to stabilize her Vertebral column. Her rehabilitation required almost a year of intensive physical therapy by Michael Klepper, but she achieved a complete recovery. She returned to an international tour ten months after the accident.

1991-1992: Into The Light and The Greatest Hits

Estefan returned to the charts with a concept album, Into the Light, in 1991. She performed "Coming Out of the Dark" for the first time on the American Music Awards in January 1991, receiving a standing ovation as she took stage. "I was worried so much about crying before I finished that I completely didn't prepare for crying before I started.", Estefan said backstage after the performance. "Coming Out of the Dark" reached #1 in the U.S. as a single a few months later. Other popular singles were "Seal Our Fate" and "Live for Loving You". The album peaked at number five at the Billboard album chart, becoming on Gloria's highest debut and number two at the British albums chart. Eventually the album went platinum at UK and two-times platinum at the States. The Into the Light World Tour covered 100 cities in five countries and was seen by more than 10 million people worldwide.

She followed up Into the Light with her first greatest-hits album, the Gloria Estefan Greatest Hits. It was released in 1992, and included the U.S. hit ballads "Always Tomorrow" and "I See Your Smile" and the international hit dance track "Go Away". Also in 1992, Estefan sang backup on fellow Cuban-American singer-songwriter Jon Secada's breakthrough single "Just Another Day". Estefan spent much of 1992 in Miami, helping with relief from the devastation of Hurricane Andrew.

1993: Mi Tierra and Christmas Through Your Eyes

In 1993 Estefan released the album Mi Tierra, her first Spanish-language album. It peaked at number twenty-seven on the Billboard album chart and number eleven on the British album chart. The singles "Mi Tierra" and the romantic-tropical ballad "Con Los Años Que Me Quedan" and "Mi Buen Amor", climbed to number-one on the "Hot Latin Tracks" chart in the United States. The album sold over eight million copies worldwide, went multiplatinum in Spain (15X) and platinum in the United States, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, Gold in Switzerland and Australia, and won a Grammy Award for "Best Tropical Latin Album".

That same year Estefan released her first Christmas album, Christmas Through Your Eyes, this classic collection was the first album from Estefan to not be produced by her husband Emilio Estefan Jr. Phil Ramone was the producer.The collection included the singles "This Christmas" and "Silent Night".The album went Platinum in the United States.

Estefan also collaborated with Frank Sinatra in 1993 on his album Duets with the song "Come Rain or Come Shine".

1994-1995: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me and Abriendo Puertas

Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me, a cover album of some of Estefan’s favorite songs from the 1960s and 1970s, was released in 1994. "Turn the Beat Around", the first single and a remake of Vicki Sue Robinson’s 1976 disco classic, became another international hit, certified gold in the US. It also was used in the Sharon Stone movie The Specialist.

1995’s Spanish-language album Abriendo Puertas earned Estefan her second Grammy Award for "Best Tropical Latin Album". It spun off two #1 dance hits, "Abriendo Puertas" and "Tres Deseos", and two #1 Latin singles, "Abriendo Puertas" and "Más Allá". The Miami Herald called Abriendo Puertas "a danceable pan-Latin American fusion, brilliantly built on improbable instrumental combinations and layers of styles and rhythms".

In January 1995, the Miami Sound Machine performed at the Super Bowl XXIX halftime show, with Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, in a program entitled "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye", to promote the upcoming Disney theme park attraction.

1996-1997: Summer Olympics and Destiny

The platinum-selling album Destiny, released in 1996, featured "Reach", the official theme of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Estefan performed in the Summer Olympics closing ceremony, in front of an audience of two billion people worldwide, during which she performed the songs "Reach" and "You'll Be Mine ".

On July 18, 1996, Estefan embarked on her Evolution World Tour (her first tour in five years), which covered the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Australia, South Africa and Asia.

1998: Back to dance: gloria!

Estefan successfully rode the wave of the Disco revival in the U.S. during the late 1990s. On June 2, 1998, she released her eighth solo album, (twenty-first overall), gloria!. The album is highly influenced by Disco music, blended with Salsa music percussion and Latin flavour. To promote gloria!, she performed at the famed New York City discoteque Studio 54marker.

The album peaked at #23 on the The Billboard 200. It was her first album during the 1990s not to hit Platinum status, but it did reach Gold certification. The single "Oye!" peaked at #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 #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Heaven's What I Feel", which peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The latter song also became a Latin chart hit.

1999: "Music of My Heart"

In 1999 Estefan performed a duet with *NSYNC on the single "Music Of My Heart", which was featured in a movie in which she also appeared, Music of the Heart. The song reached #2 on the Billboard chart and was nominated for an Academy Award. She also released a Latin hit with the Brazilian group So Pra Contrariar called "Santo Santo", sang with Luciano Pavarotti in "Pavarotti and Friends for Guatemalamarker and Kosovomarker," released the benefit album “A Rosie Christmas,".

She also made a couple of sporting event appearances. The first event was a performance with Stevie Wonder at Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami. She also sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at game three of the 2003 World Series in Miami between the Florida Marlins and New York Yankees.

2000s

Greatest Hits Vol. II was released in 2001. It contained hits from 1993 to 2000, as well as three new songs and a remix of her first hit "Conga", retitled "Y-Tu-Conga". The song "Out of Nowhere" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category for Best Dance Recording; another song off the album, "You Can't Walk Away from Love", was featured in the movie Original Sin.

2003-2004: Unwrapped

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 United States. The video for the single "Hoy", had been filmed in Machu Picchu, Perumarker. "Hoy" and "Tu Fotografía" both reached #1 on Billboard’s Latin chart, and "I Wish You" reached the AC top 20.

On July 28, 2004, at the Trump Tower buildingmarker, in a press conference hosted by Donald Trump, Estefan announced that her then-upcoming tour would be her final one. The Live & Re-Wrapped Tour, her first tour in eight years, was produced by Clear Channel Entertainment. It began in Hidalgo, Texasmarker on July 30, 2004, and played in 26 cities; it featured Estefan’s greatest hits, along with new material from Unwrapped. The final concert of the tour took place in Estefan's hometown of Miami on the weekend of October 9 and 10, in front of a sold-out crowd, despite having been delayed for two weeks by a hurricane.

2005: Mash-up hit with Mylo and the tributes

On April 7, 2005, Estefan participated in “Selena ¡VIVE!", the tribute concert for Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the "Queen of Tejano", who was murdered in March 1995 on the brink of her attempt to cross over as an English-language performer. Gloria performed "I Could Fall in Love", one of Selena's posthumously released crossover hits. Also that year, Estefan appeared on the soundtrack for the television series Desperate Housewives, singing a song titled "Young Hearts Run Free".

In late 2005, the club mash-up "Dr. Pressure" was released, which combined Mylo’s Number 19 hit "Drop The Pressure" with the Miami Sound Machine’s "Dr. Beat". It reached #3 on the UK singles chart and #1 on the Australian dance chart, providing Estefan with her first top 40 hit and commercial radio airplay since 1996

2006: Compilations and the UK promo tour

Along with dozens of other prominent singers in early 2006, Estefan performed in Los Angeles at a tribute to singer Dionne Warwick. Estefan sang "Walk On By", one of Warwick’s signature songs.

In October 2006, Sony released a 2-CD compilation The Essential Gloria Estefan, featuring most of her biggest hits from 1984 to 2003, and In the ensuing couple of months, Estefan made several radio and television appearances to promote The Essential Gloria Estefan including a December 9, 2006 appearance on ITV’s The X Factor.

Estefan also released two additional similar compilation albums that year for other markets. The Very Best of Gloria Estefan was released in Europe and Mexico, and was similar to The Essential Gloria Estefan, but also included as a bonus track "Dr. Pressure". This compilation was certified GOLD in Ireland. Oye Mi Canto!: Los Grandes Exitos, a collection of her Spanish-language hits was released in Spain. It included a bonus DVD, which included various music videos and television performances.

2008-Present: Idol Gives Back, 90 Millas World Tour and other presentations

In 2008 Gloria appeared during the seventh season of American Idol, in the special charity episode "Idol Gives Back", performing her song "Get on Your Feet" along with Sheila E.. The performance was recorded and was released at the American iTunes store; the video of the performance reached the number twenty of the store Top 100 videos, and the song became the most downloaded song by Estefan in just one day.

Estefan became the headliner of the new venue of the MGM Grandmarker at Foxwoods Resort Casinomarker. Her three-day shows were sold out. She then headed to Canada to perform at the Casino Ramamarker. In August she started her "90 Millas World Tour". Gloria played concerts in London, Rotterdam, Belfastmarker and Aruba. Gloria performed several concerts in Spain, specifically Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Tenerife. Two of these concerts, in Las Ventasmarker, Spain, and Rotterdammarker, The Netherlands, were free to the public.

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

During the Thanksgiving season, Gloria 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'Donell's album A Rosie Christmas.

In 2009, Estefan announced plans for her "farewell tour" of Latin America and South America. Estefan has explained that this tour is intended to be her last, so that she can spend more time with her daughter Emily. Estefan has also recently completed a 3 night concert series with Carole King entitled "She's Got a Friend" at the Foxwoods Resort Casinomarker.

The tour continued with a concert at Guadalajaramarker in Mexicomarker, as part of a program designed to improve tourism in Mexico, and a series of appearances at music festivals throughout Europe concerts, including headlining at the Summer Pops Music Festival in Liverpoolmarker on the 27th July.

Upcoming Projects

Estefan is currently working on two new albums to be released soon: The first is a Christmas album which is not known yet if would be a Spanish or English-language Christmas album, the second is a new studio-album which is a collection of American-standards as she is continuing to write songs for other artists.

Career outside of singing

Film and television appearances

In addition to her singing career, Estefan has appeared in two movies, Music of the Heart (1999) and For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000). Estefan made a cameo appereance with her husband Emilio Estefan Jr. on the smash-box office hit Marley & Me in 2008, her first movie role since 2000.

She is cast to star as Connie Francis, a U.S. pop singer of the 1950s and early 1960s, in Who's Sorry Now?, based on Francis’ life. Filming began in late 2008, according to Parade Magazine (March 23, 2008). Estefan, in an interview with www.allheadlinenews.com, stated the film will be released in 2009.

Estefan has made occasional television appearances as well. She appeared in the ABC television special Elmopalooza, which aired 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, but she declined an offer to be an official judge, saying she does not like to "judge" others.

Books

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 #3 on the New York Times Bestseller list for children's books.

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

Other business ventures

Gloria and Emilio Estefan also own a number of business establishments, including seven Cuban-themed restaurants ( Bongos Cuban Café). The restaurants are located in Miami; Miami Beachmarker, Downtown Miami, part of the American Airlines Arena; Disney Worldmarker’s Downtown Disneymarker in Orlandomarker; Mexico City; and Puerto Vallartamarker, Mexico. They also own two hotels: the Costa d'Este in Vero Beachmarker which opened in 2008, and The Cardozo in Miami Beachmarker.

Gloria Estefan was appointed to the board of directors for Univision Communications Inc. in 2007, according to Hispanic Market Weekly. The Estefans' estimated net worth as of 2007 was approximately $500 million, according to an article in People En Espanol magazine (February 2007).

In June 2009, Gloria Estefan and her husband, producer Emilio Estefan, bought a "very small" ownership stake in the Miami Dolphins.

Personal life

Gloria became romantically involved with the Miami Sound Machine's band leader , Emilio Estefan, in 1976. She and Emilio married on September 1, 1978. They have a son, Nayib (born September 2, 1980) and a daughter, Emily Marie (born December 5, 1994). The family lives in the exclusive Star Island section of Miami Beach, Floridamarker.

Awards

In addition to her seven Grammys, Estefan has received a number of other awards. In May 1993, she received the Ellis Islandmarker Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest award that can be given to a naturalized U.S. citizen. She has won the Hispanic Heritage Award, an MTV Video Music Award, two cable television ACE Awards and the 1993 National Music Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award. The singer is the recipient of the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker. 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 holds an honorary doctoral degree in music from the University of Miamimarker, awarded in 1993. In 2002, Barry University in Miami bestowed upon her an honorary law degree. Along with her husband, Emilio, Estefan received an honorary doctoral degree in music from the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2007. She also delivered the commencement address to the 2007 graduating class.

In 2002, she received the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Medallion of Excellence for Community Service. The singer was Musicares Person of the Year in 1994. Gloria also founded the Gloria Estefan Foundation whose goal is to help those with spinal cord injuries.

She has been honored twice by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1992, she served as a public member of the United States Delegation to the 47th General Assembly to the United Nations.

She was awarded "Person of the Year" at the Latin Grammy Awards in a ceremony aired in November 2008, in recognition of her twenty-five year singing career. She is the first female singer to receive this award. She also received a Latin Grammy for "Best Traditional Tropical Album" for 90 Millas, and a Latin Grammy for "Best Tropical Song" for her single, "Píntame De Colores". This marked the first occasion for Estefan to ever win a Grammy award for a song (either Latin or non-Latin).

On March 12, 2009 she was honored by the BMI Foundation with the "BMI Icon" award. The award was previously given to other singers such as Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Brian Wilson.

Discography

Albums discography



Singles discography

Filmography



Videography

  • Homecoming Concert (1989 CMV)
  • Evolution (1990 CMV)
  • Coming Out Of The Dark (1991 SMV)
  • Into The Light World Tour (1992 SMV)
  • Everlasting Gloria! (1995 EMV)
  • The Evolution Tour Live In Miami (1996 EMV)
  • Don't Stop (1998 EMV)
  • Que siga la tradición (2001 EMV)
  • Live In Atlantis (2002 EMV)
  • Famous (2003) (Video journal about making-of Unwrapped LP; included in CD package)
  • Live & Unwrapped (2004 EMV)


Books

  • The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog (2005) ISBN 0-06-082623-1.
  • Noelle's Treasure Tale: A New Magically Mysterious Adventure (2006)
  • Estefan's Kitchen (2008)


Tours

See also



References

External links




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