Gloria Estefan, born September 1, 1957, started her musical career as the lead singer for the Miami Sound Machine. After the release of their best-selling album “Let it Loose,” she was widely recognized as the band’s lead singer in many nations. Her first studio album, “Cuts Both Ways,” was certified multi-platinum in numerous countries. “Mi Tierra,” for which she received her first Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Record, is widely regarded as her most successful album. Estefan is one of the best-selling female singers of all time, with over 75 million albums sold worldwide. Let’s celebrate her birthday!
September 1, 1957
Gloria Estefan is considered the most successful crossover performer in Latin music and is among the top 100 best-selling music artists in the world, with over 100 million records sold globally. She was born in Havana, Cuba, to parents José Fajardo and Gloria García. Her father had been a Cuban soldier and was forced to relocate his family to the United States during the political upheaval of the Cuban Revolution, She was an active singer and guitarist as a high school student. In 1975, while still a student, she met Emilio Estefan, her future husband and leader of the band Miami Latin Boys. He asked her to join and dubbed the group Miami Sound Machine.
Estefan rose to prominence as the lead singer on the band’s 1987 album “Let it Loose,” which was a hit in the United States, Canada, and Australia. “Cuts Both Ways,” her first studio album as a solo artist, went on to become a bestseller, solidifying her status as a solo artist. In 1990, she was in a catastrophic vehicle accident that threatened to end her career. However, she surprised doctors and fans by bouncing back to health and was soon performing again. In 1992, she received the “Premio Lo Nuestro a la Excelencia” Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing her contributions to Latin music.
“Mi Tierra,” her 1993 Spanish album, received numerous accolades, including her first Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album. In 1998, she released the hip and lively album “Gloria,” which became multi-platinum in Spain and Argentina. In 2007, Estefan’s “90 Millas” reached Number 11 on the Latin Female Artist of the Year chart. Estefan and her husband were both awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2015 for their groundbreaking contributions to music and Latin American culture. She received extra recognition in 2017 when she was named one of five Kennedy Center honorees.
She begins her musical career by occasionally performing as lead singer with her future husband’s band, Miami Latin Boys, which later is renamed Miami Sound Machine.
A professional relationship transforms into a personal one after several months, and she marries Estefan in September.
Her album "Let It Loose" internationally confirms her career as the band's lead singer and reaches multi-platinum, and in the U.S. alone, it sells three million copies.
Estefan faces a bus accident on March 20 and undergoes significant surgery to straighten her spine and implant steel rods to brace the fracture.
Her debut Spanish album, “Mi Tierra,” is released, and is considered her most popular, for which she receives many honors, including her first Grammy Award for ‘Best Tropical Latin Album.’
President Obama honors Estefan and her husband with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November for their contributions to American music.
Why We Love Gloria Estefan
She is a hard-working woman
In every endeavor she has undertaken, she has given her best. As a diva, a writer, and a businesswoman, she has achieved international success. Her marriage life is also inspiring.
She is a fighter
Her career was threatened by a horrific accident in 1990. But she surprised doctors by bouncing back to health and was soon performing again due to her intense determination in a situation when most people would give up their passion.
She is a family person
Her fame and achievement did not keep her detached from her family. Rather, she prefers to come home to her husband and children as soon as she finishes her work. She is simultaneously a wonderful mother and wife.
5 Surprising Facts
Becoming a musician wasn't her ambition
Estefan disliked guitar lessons as a child and had no idea that she would one day become a famous musician, but music was very important to her as a teenager.
Award from the Latin Recording Academy
She was the first female vocalist to be named ‘Person of the Year’ by the Latin Recording Academy.
She performed for the Pope
In 1995, she was the first pop diva to sing ‘Mas Alla’ for Pope John Paul II.
Wonderful language abilities
Gloria worked as a French, Spanish, and English translator at the Miami airport.
She is a writer
She's also a well-known author, with a book that lasted a week at number three on the “New York Times Bestseller” list for children's books.
Gloria Estefan FAQs
What is Gloria Estefan's most famous song?
‘The Rhythm is Gonna Get You,’ ‘Can’t Stay Away from You,’ ‘1-2-3,’ ‘Don’t Wanna Lose You,’ ‘Coming Out of the Dark,’ and ‘Turn the Beat Around’ are some of her best-known songs.
Who was Gloria Estefan's inspiration?
Consuelo Garcia, her grandma on her mother’s side, is the only person she regards as a mentor in her life. Aside from her apparent function as a grandmother, this woman was a vivid example for Estefan of a lady ahead of her time.
How many number-one hits did Gloria Estefan have?
She has many songs that have become hits on Latino radio stations in the United States. Estefan holds the record for the most number-one hits on Billboard magazine’s Hot Latin Songs list, with 14 songs spending a total of 40 weeks at the top.
Gloria Estefan’s birthday dates