Gloria Estefan (born Gloria María Fajardo García on September 1, 1957) in Havana, Cuba, is a Grammy Award-winning 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. She has won seven Grammy Awards, placing her among the most successful crossover performers in Latin music to date.
Conga - an Afro-Cuban dance of 3 steps and a kick by people in single file, basic steps are (left) 1-2-3-Kick then repeat, opposite.
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 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, but she achieved a complete recovery. She returned to an international tour ten months after the accident.
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.
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 Fotografía" both reached #1 on Billboard’s Latin chart, and "I Wish You" reached the AC top 20.
In addition to her seven Grammys, Estefan has received a number of other awards. In May 1993, she received the Ellis Island 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 cale 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 Fame. Her husband, Emilio, a world-renowned music impresario, received a star adjacent to his wife’s on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.
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. [wikipedia]