Gloria Estefan (born Gloria Mar?a Fajardo Garc?a; 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 Mar?a Milagrosa Fajardo was born , 1957 in Havana, Cuba, to Jose and Gloria Fajardo. Her mother's father Leonardo Garcia emigrated to Cuba from Pola de Siero, Asturias, Spain where he married a woman from Logro?o, Spain. The family fled to Lafayette, Indiana, 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
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 released 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 The Miami Sound Machine. Beginning in 1989, the group's name was dropped altogether along with the firing of the Miami Sound Machine band members. 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.
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 (Hear my Voice)", "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, Pennsylvania, 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 City, where surgeons at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases permanently implanted two titanium rods to stabilize her spinal 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 A?os 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 Kingdon, 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 "M?s All?". 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 (Party Time)".
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 54.
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 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 Guatemala and Kosovo," 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.
2000-2002: Alma Caribe?a and Greatest Hits Volume II
Estefan's next album, Alma Caribe?a The album reached number one in Spain, the United States and several South American countries. It also won a Grammy Award for "Best Tropical Album". The single "No Me Dejes de Querer" won a Latin Grammy for "Best Music Video". Also that year, Estefan won the American Music Awards' "Award of Merit".
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.
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, Peru. "Hoy" and "Tu Fotograf?a" 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 building, 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, Texas 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-P?rez, 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.
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