Real Name: Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo
Birthday: September 1, 1957
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
Children: (Nayib, b. 1980 and Emily, b. 1994)
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Movie: Wizard of Oz
Gloria (Fajardo) Estefan, along with her family, fled
Cuba in 1959 when she was just a toddler. Growing
up in difficult circumstances in Miami, Gloria found
solace in music, falling in love with the Cuban songs
taught to her by her grandmother. Miami bandleader
Emilio Estefan, Jr. invited the teenaged Gloria to
join his group, "The Miami Latin Boys" after hearing
her sing at a 1975 wedding. The two married in 1979
as the band began to gain notice among Spanish speaking
audiences in the U.S. and Latin America.
Success struck for Gloria and Emilio after the group
changed their name to The Miami Sound Machine and
changed their music to include dance music sung in
English, but with a Latin flair. During the 80s the
group gained international fame with hits like "Conga',
"1-2-3", and "Rhythm is Gonna Get You".
In 1990, Gloria suffered a terrible tragedy when her
tour bus was hit by a speeding truck. After a painful
rehabilitation and with two metal rods in her spine,
Gloria returned to the concert stage with the aptly
titled song "Coming Out of the Dark" from her similarly
named 1991 album "Into the Light".
In 1993, Gloria recorded her love letter to her native
Cuba, the Grammy-award winning "Mi Tierra." She followed
with 1995's "Abriendo Puertas," and 2000's "Alma Caribeña"
both of which have kept her at the top of the Latin
By the end of the millennium, Gloria had sold over
50 million records worldwide. She also branched out
to acting by appearing in the film "Music at the Heart"
and the television film "The Arturo Sandoval Story".
Gloria and Emilio's business empire Estefan Enterprises
continues to grow with restaurants, a hotel, television
ventures, a recording studio and record company. Gloria
has also been honored for her extensive charity work
including charity performances and fundraising for
AIDs, child welfare, and arts education. She worked
tirelessly to help Miami recover from the devastating
effects of Hurricane Andrew by organizing a charity
concert that raised $3 million. She started The Gloria
Estefan Foundation in 1997.