Icon and Queen of Latin Pop Gloria Estefan has had a decades-long career that launched with hits including “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You” and now she’s made history as the first Latina inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Estefan, 65, started her career with the Miami Sound Machine and went on to release hits including ‘Turn the Beat Around,’ ‘1-2-3.’, and “Conga.” She was recently seen in the latest adaption of Father of the Bride and co-hosts Red Table Talk: The Estefans with her daughter and niece. Now she’s getting recognition for her songwriting along with artists including Sade and Snoop Dogg who will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame later this year. The Cuban American singer’s first No.1 hit was “Anything For You” and one of her most personal tracks, “Coming Out Of The Dark”, was inspired by her recovery following a bus accident that left her severely injured.
“To be here is just a dream,” Estefan told CBS Mornings. “To be the first at anything at this age is fantastic,” she added.
The Grammy-winning artist has had a career that has spanned nearly five decades with no signs of stopping. She began as the singer for the Miami Sound Machine in the late 1970s when she met husband Emilio Estefan and they continue to work together even after the band name was dropped and she became a solo artist in 1989. Estefan earned her first career Grammy in 1993 for her Spanish-language album Mi Tierra winning Best Tropical Latin Album.
She’s released 17 albums, both solo albums and those recorded with the Miami Sound Machine, and has sold more than 50 million worldwide. She is one of the most successful artists of all time and one of the most successful Latin crossover artists. She’s also written songs for artists including Jon Secada (“Just Another Day”) and Jennifer Lopez (“Let’s Get Loud”). She’s previously been inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, the highest honor a civilian can receive in the U.S. She was also honored during Latinx Heritage Month in 2022 with her own Barbie from Mattel. She’s recognized as being one of the Latinas in the music industry who broke barriers and has paved the way for other Latin artists to cross over into the U.S. charts including Ricky Martin and Shakira.
“A BIG thank you to all the incredible fans that, by listening to my music, have made it possible for me to receive this incredible honor!,” she wrote in a caption on Instagram sharing the news.
‘We got a lot of no’s at the beginning of our career. ‘No, this sound will never work. No, you are not going to be able to cross over. No, you can’t compete on a world level,’’ Estefan told CBS. ‘Of course, we didn’t believe that. When we got the opportunity to give a hand up or leg up to other Latinos, other Latin artists that we knew could be amazing, it was wonderful to be able to say yes.’
Decades later and there’s no denying the staying power of Gloria Estefan and the impact she continues to make through her music and collaborations.
The 52nd Annual Induction and Awards Gala for the Songwriters Hall of Fame will take place Thursday, June 15 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.