Gloria Estefan is a shining example of how Latinos have impacted the music industry with their extreme talents and immense creativity. As one of the best-selling artists of all time in the world, Gloria has sold an estimated 90 million records worldwide with 31.5 million just in the United States. She has won seven Grammy Awards and is the most successful Latin crossover performer.
Gloria was born Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García de Estefan in Havana, Cuba, on September 1, 1957, She and her family fled Cuba when she was just a toddler, she eventually met and married Emilio Estefan in September 1978 and had a son, she got a degree in psychology from the University of Miami, and she and the Miami Sound Machine went on to become music super stars.
Success has now continued for many years in spite of a devastating tour bus crash in 1990 that fractured Gloria’s spine. Amazingly, instead of the prediction of possibly being paralyzed for life becoming true, and after the implantation of titanium rods in her spine and a year of rehabilitation, she not only resumed her career but also had a second child in 1994.
The couple have built a music empire; producer and director Emilio won 19 Grammys working with major stars such as Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony; and the two own a number of restaurants, a pair of hotels, and are minority owners of the Miami Dolphins.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan were star presenters at the 68th annual Tony Awards at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 8, 2014.
The next big project that has been worked on for years is for Gloria to see the story of her life unfold on Broadway in 2015. “On Your Feet!” will be a biographical and inspirational “jukebox musical” about the lives and music of Gloria and Emilio. It will have a message for minorities about achieving their dreams and will have a try-out run in Chicago scheduled for the summer of 2015. It will hopefully go on to Broadway that fall.
Jerry Mitchell, the Tony-winning director-choreographer of “Hairspray”, “Kinky Boots”, and “Legally Blonde” will stage it. Sergio Trujillo of “Jersey Boys” and “Memphis” will be the choreographer. Playwright Alexander Dinelaris has already written the first version of his script and will incorporate many English and Spanish Miami Sound Machine songs as well as possible new music from Gloria.