Gloria Estefan is a Latin pop superstar with sales of more than 70 million albums worldwide, and seven Grammys as a solo artist and a member of Miami Sound Machine.
Born Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo Garcia, she met her husband, bandleader and songwriter Emilio Estefan, at one of his wedding gigs. He recruited her into the band and they were married in September 1976.
In 1984, Miami Sound Machine released its English-language debut album, “Eyes of Innocence,” which included the dance-pop track “Dr. Beat,” a top 10 hit in England. “Primitive Love” came the following year, reaching No. 23 on the pop album chart and had three singles in the top 10: “Conga,” “Bad Boy” and “Words Get in the Way.”
The band's crossover momentum was only beginning. In 1987, the album “Let It Loose” spawned multiple hit singles, including the chart-topping “Anything for You,” and the top 10 songs “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Can't Stay Away From You” and “1,2,3.” Estefan quickly emerged as the star of the group, and beginning in 1989, releases were credited as solo recordings, though the Miami Sound Machine remained her backup unit.
In 1990, while touring through Scranton, Penn., Estefan was injured when her tour bus was hit by a cargo truck, requiring surgery and physical therapy. Estefan returned to the stage less than a year later. Her next album, “Into the Light,” reached No. 5 on the pop album chart.
She released her first Spanish-language albums “Mi Tierra” (1993) and “Abriendo Puertas” (1995), and performed with the Miami Sound Machine at the 1995 Super Bowl halftime show with fellow Cuban immigrant Arturo Sandoval. (She returned to the Super Bowl in 1999 to perform with Stevie Wonder.)
Estefan released “Unwrapped” in 2003, and the following year announced that the next major U.S. tour would be her last. It was completed Oct. 10, 2004, in Miami. She made occasional live appearances in the years after. Her 2007 album, “90 Millas,” featured guest appearances from Carlos Santana, Arturo Sandoval and Sheila E. The title reflected the distance between Miami and her Cuban birthplace.