You know you're getting old when the children of famous artists you watched and listened to growing up start getting their own careers on the move and begin making headlines. Which is exactly what's happening with Gloria Estefan's daughter, Emily right now. It makes me feel like a total geezer when I hear people asking what made Gloria so famous and in case you're not an old head like me and want to know how she became a star, here's the skinny.
Why is Gloria Estefan famous? She and her husband topped the music charts in the '80s and '90s.
Gloria was born in Havana, Cuba, on Sept. 1, 1957, but fled the country with her family when she was a young girl. When she was around 18, she ended up meeting the man who would become her husband, Emilio Estefan. He was a keyboardist for a band called the Miami Latin Boys who specialized in, you guessed it, Latin music. Gloria would become the lead singer of the band and they'd change their name to Miami Sound Machine.
Maybe because "Sound Machine" was a popular term for '80s musical outfits at the time (kinda like how there are so many mumble rappers with the "Lil" moniker in their stage name), or maybe because the group wasn't primarily comprised of "boys" any longer, the change ultimately worked out for the group as was the addition of Gloria to the band.
Although Gloria didn't particularly dream of becoming a famous singer when she grew up, she admitted that during her formative years music became a sense of escape for her from her daily struggles.
Devastated by the news of her father's multiple sclerosis diagnosis, she told Washington Post reporter Richard Harrington, "When my father was ill, music was my escape. I would lock myself up in my room for hours and just sing. I wouldn't cry—I refused to cry. ... Music was the only way I had to just let go, so I sang for fun and for emotional catharsis."
If you still work in the White House, I don’t care what Gloria Estefan says, it’s probably not the rhythm that’s gonna get you.— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 6, 2020
It was that devotion to personal expression that led Gloria to Miami Latin Boys and a musical career that saw tremendous success. Although the group did have a lot of success in the United States, the majority of their hits resonated with audiences on the global scene; the four albums she wrote and recorded with Miami Sound Machine between 1981 and 1983 provided dozens of chart-topping hits in Venezuela, Peru, Honduras, and Panama.
The band's first real hit in the states was off their 1984 album, "Eyes of Innocence." "Dr. Beat" was a disco track that crushed in Europe, but "Conga" is probably the squad's most memorable American track, and it managed to break Billboard's dance, pop, Black, and Latin charts all at the same time. Miami Sound Machine had arrived in the U.S.
It wasn't long before Gloria Estefan became the star attraction from the band, and they'd sometimes be billed at venues as Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine before eventually being just called Gloria Estefan. At the start of their career they were known for dance tracks — but Gloria Estefan's ballads also provided huge success for the band and ushered in a bunch of new fans as well.
The wait is over! So excited to watch our latina royalty @GloriaEstefan @Emily_Estefan @LiliEstefan bring it all to the Red Table!! #letstalkaboutit #redtabletheestefans❤️👑💪🏼🔥✌🏻 pic.twitter.com/roOcnvLnyQ— Alice Prieto (@AlicePrieto68) October 7, 2020
"Betcha Say That," "Rhythm is Gonna Get You," and "1-2-3" all made a splash on the Billboard 100 chart, but "Anything For You," a ballad featuring Gloria's voice, is one of the singer's most notable tracks. And even if you think you never listened to Gloria Sing before, there's probably a good chance you've heard "On Your Feet," especially if you're a Parks and Recreation fan.
What are Gloria Estefan's politics?
The singer recently made headlines after stating that there was a lack of leadership pertaining to the coronavirus response, "I think we’ve suffered from a serious lack of leadership," she said. "I think that at the beginning, the prudent thing would have been to listen to the task force that was really expressing that the best way we could protect everyone was to have a mask mandate."
This led many people to wonder where Gloria's political allegiances lie: Most Cuban-Americans identify as Republican, according to a Pew Research Center report.