As a toddle Estefan fled Cuba with her family. In 1975 she met keyboardist Emilio Estefan, her future husband, who headed a group called the Miami Latin Boys. Estefan became the lead singer as well as the group was renamed the Miami Sound Machine, before going to score several Top 10 hits in the 1980s and 1990s. Estefan and her husband afterwards produced a Broadway musical, On Your Feet!, which featured the Miami Sound Machine’s popular tunes.
After coming to America, the older Fajardo was recruited to the 2506 Brigade, a CIA-financed group of Cuban refugees that was involved in the unsuccessful 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. He finally joined the U.S. Army and served for two years in Vietnam.
As a kid Estefan liked to compose poetry, and though she took classical guitar lessons, she found them boring. She’d no inkling that she’d someday become a popular music star, but music played an essential part for her as a teen.
Estefan’s mom, who’d been a teacher in Cuba, worked to support the family throughout the day and attended school through the night. Youthful Gloria was left to care for her dad and younger sister. She’d small social life, and because she felt the weight of such duties she turned to music as a release.
“When my dad was sick, music was my getaway,” Estefan told Washington Post reporter Richard Harrington. “I ‘d lock myself up in my own room all day and only sing. I’d not weep—I refused to cry. … Music was the only real means I ‘d to simply let go, so I sang for pleasure and for mental catharsis.”
The group played popular Latin music, but because there is no lead singer, the quartet members took turns singing. A common friend requested Emilio to inform Gloria and some buddies about forming a group to get a particular occasion. Emilio heard Gloria sing, and when he met her again in a wedding where the Miami Latin Boys were amusing, he requested her to sit in with all the group. Several weeks after Emilio asked Gloria to perform as lead singer with all the group, and she taken.
At first Gloria sang exclusively on weekends, because she was still attending the University of Miami. Renacer was a number of disco pop and original ballads sung in Spanish. Although Estefan was a little more substantial and quite self-conscious when she joined the group, she slimmed down using a strenuous exercise plan and worked to defeat her natural reticence.
After several months on an expert degree, Emilio and Gloria’s professional relationship turned private, as well as in September 1978, they were wed.
By 1980 the group had signed a contract with Discos CBS International, the Miami-based Hispanic section of CBS Records. The Miami Sound Machine first met with success in Spanish-speaking nations. The group had tons of hit songs across the world—especially in Venezuela, Peru, Panama, and Honduras—but loved little acknowledgement in the United States.
The Miami Sound Machine’s first North American hit was from the group’s first English album, Eyes of Innocence (1984). The tune’s popularity prompted CBS to transfer the group to Epic, a parent label, and inspired group members to compose tunes in English. The rousing dance number “Conga” became the very first single to crack Billboard’s pop, dancing, black and Latin charts concurrently.
In 1985 the record Primitive Love, the group’s first record completely in English, set off a chain of hit singles.
As a group, the Miami Sound Machine developed a split personality. In the studio the Three Jerks and session players made records, as well as for concerts the road group, which contained Garcia and Avila, performed. Estefan was the common denominator. Extensive tours, concerts in 40,000-seat arenas and music videos on MTV and VH1 made the Miami Sound Machine a leading U.S. group.
Estefan slowly became the star attraction, as well as the performance came to be billed as Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine or occasionally just Gloria Estefan. Some commentators on the popular music arena called Estefan a demure, Hispanic version of Madonna.
After the Let It Loose record, Galdo and pals stop working using the Miami Sound Machine, therefore the group was on its own creatively. Early in its development, the group’s biggest hits were rousing dance numbers, but from the conclusion of the 1980s it was Estefan’s ballads that engendered its success.
In spite of the group’s popularity with English-speaking listeners, the Estefans never forgot their origins. The name of the 1989 album Cuts Both Ways attested with their goal to fulfill their international standing. Estefan led to Cuts Both Ways in more capacities than as only the lead singer. She was involved in its preparation and creation, composed a number of the music and wrote lyrics to all the tunes. The rollicking salsa ending “Oye Mi Canto” (“Hear My Song”) matched “Conga” for its allure.
Emilio Estefan relinquished his place as keyboardist with all the Miami Sound Machine following the arrival of son, Nayib. Then he dedicated his considerable energy and managerial ability to boosting the group along with the other businesses that were to eventually make the Estefans producers in their very own and others’ records. While Gloria Estefan toured together with the group, her husband ensured that Nayib would have a minumum of one parent in the home. A detailed family, the Estefans would organize to meet as frequently as possible during tours.
While traveling together on March 20, 1990, the group’s bus was in a collision using a tractor trailer on snowy Interstate 380 near the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. In a four-hour surgery several days after, surgeons realigned Estefan’s back and planted steel poles to buttress the break. Having a prognosis for complete recovery suspicious, Estefan retired to her home on Star Island, near Miami, to start her long recuperation.
Because of extensive physical therapy, extreme determination as well as the support of her family members and supporters, Gloria Estefan made what many consider a marvelous comeback. She indicated her return to performing with the appearance on television’s American Music Awards in January of 1991, and commencing in March, she started a yearlong tour to tout her comeback album Into the Light.
Throughout another four years Gloria released four records and embarked on a world tour. The records switched in style from Latin to pop. After recording the platinum record Destiny in 1996, Gloria started a high tech world tour called Development. Each show commenced having a hanging earth moving over the crowd from which Gloria appeared. The $14 million in receipts in the North American leg set it as the 24th best grossing tour of 1996.
In 1998 Gloria continued to join pop, dance and Latin beats in her 12th album, gloria!. She also performed about the VH1 concert special, Divas Live along with Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Shania Twain among others. Inclusion in this occasion affirmed her standing on the list of most notable female vocalists in the music business.
Lately, Gloria Estefan has found another outlet for her creative abilities. She composed two picture books for kids: The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog (2005) and Noelle’s Treasure Tale (2006).
It had been her 29th album complete, her 11th studio solo album and her fourth in Spanish.
In 2008, Estefan made a cameo appearance on the television contest American Idol with fellow musician Sheila E. She also embarked on an extensive American and European tour, which ended in late 2009.
Even as pop music continues to churn out new stars and sounds, Estefan has shown few signs of slowing down. She teamed with producer Pharrell Williams to create Miss Little Havana in 2011, and provided her variation of numerous American classics for The Standards in 2013. debuting on Broadway in 2015.
That year, Estefan and her husband were both honored for his or her trailblazing contributions to music and Latin American traditions using the Presidential Medal of Freedom.