Gloria Estefan

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About Gloria Estefan

Born in Havana in 1957, Gloria Estefan grew up to become a chart-topping all-American success story. The singer and songwriter was first known as the charismatic frontwoman of Miami Sound Machine. Though she would later be billed as a solo artist, she never parted ways with the band—or its leader, Emilio Estefan, whom she married after joining the outfit. Miami Sound Machine broke big in 1985 with the dance hit “Conga.” Combining the manic energy of electro and freestyle with combustive Afro-Cuban percussion, the track was the first of many that would propel the band across restrictive radio categories, past industry assumptions about cultural barriers, and into the Top 10 on pop charts around the world. Latin-pop crossover songs such as “Conga” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” made their name, but Estefan’s mastery of the emotionally lush ballad, whether in English (“Coming Out of the Dark”) or Spanish (“Con los Años Que Me Quedan”), cemented her as an icon and built the Estefans’ vaunted empire.

Havana, Cuba
September 1, 1957
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