Gloria Estefan Biography

(Latin Pop Singer Who Earned Worldwide Success With "Conga" in 1985)

Birthday: September 1, 1957 (Virgo)

Born In: Havana, Cuba

Born as Gloria Maria Fajardo, this Cuban-born, Grammy award-winning singer is better known by the name Gloria Estefan. Considered to be the most successful crossover performer in Latin music, this talented singer is counted among the 100 best-selling music artists with an estimated worldwide sales of over 100 million records. Gloria was born in Cuba but her family moved to the U.S. when she was very young. Her childhood was rife with problems and she discovered music as a means of escaping from the harsh realities of life albeit for a little while. As a high school student, she actively sang and played the guitar. Soon she was invited to sing a few songs for a local band, ‘Miami Latin Boys’. The band leader, Emilio Estefan, was so impressed by her performance that he invited her to join the band and changed the band name to ‘Miami Sound Machine’. Eventually, she married him and performed with the band for a few years before getting her break as a solo singer. Her first album as a solo artist, ‘Cuts Both Ways’ became an immediate bestseller and soon she had a big fan following. More hits followed over the years and this crossover singer is the proud winner of three Grammy awards to date.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García

Age: 66 Years, 66 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Emilio Estefan

father: Jose Fajardo

mother: Gloria Fajardo

children: Emily Marie Consuelo, Nayib Estefan

Born Country: Cuba

Singers Actresses

Notable Alumni: St. Michael-Archangel School

Ancestry: Cuban American, Spanish American

City: Havana, Cuba

More Facts

education: St. Michael-Archangel School

Childhood & Early Life

Gloria Estefan was born to Jose and Gloria Fajardo in Cuba in 1957. Her father, a Cuban soldier, was forced to move his family to the U.S. due to political unrest during the Cuban Revolution.

She was raised as a Catholic and studied at the St. Michael-Archangel School and later attended Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Miami.

She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami. She is well-versed in English, Spanish, and French.

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She met Emilio Estefan, the leader of the band ‘Miami Latin Boys’ while she was still a student. He invited her to sing for his band, and later asked her to join the band and renamed the band ‘Miami Sound Machine’.

The band started recording and releasing albums in 1977. Their first album was titled ‘Live Again Renacer’. After several other popular albums, the band signed a contract with Discos CBS International.

The self-titled album, ‘Miami Sound Machine’ was released in 1980, and the band went on to release more albums during the decade which made them very popular on an international level.

Gloria rose to fame with the band’s 1987 album ‘Let it Loose’ for which she got top billing. The album became a bestseller not just in the U.S., but also in Canada and Australia, acknowledging her talents as the band’s lead singer.

She released her first studio album as a solo artist, ‘Cuts Both Ways’ in 1989. The album became a bestseller cementing her reputation as a solo singer.

She had a terrible accident in 1990 which threatened to cut short her career. But, ever resilient, she bounced back to recovery, surprising doctors, and was soon performing again.

Her first concept album, ‘Into the Light’ was released in 1991. The album dealt with the theme of overcoming life’s challenges to get back to a desired life.

Her Spanish album, ‘Mi Tierra’ was released in 1993. She incorporated elements of Latin and Cuban music in the album which became one of the best-known Latin albums of the year.

In 1994, she released ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me’, an album that consisted of cover versions of her favorite songs from artists like Carole King, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Elton John, Neil Sedaka, and others.

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She released her second Spanish album, ‘Abriendo Puertas’ in 1995. The songs reflected a variety of Latin American musical styles.

In an attempt to keep up with the times, she released a hip and groovy album, ‘gloria!’ in 1998. The songs were full of dance rhythms and aimed at a younger audience.

Her third Spanish album, ‘Alma Caribena’ was released in 2000. It was followed by the English language album, ‘Unwrapped’ in 2003.

She released her album ‘Miss Little Havana’ in 2011 and ‘The Standards’ in 2013.

In 2020, she came out with her fourteenth studio album titled ‘Brazil305.’ The album opened to a positive critical reception and peaked at number 8 on the US Tropical Albums. It also became a recipient of the ‘Latin Grammy Award’ for ‘Best Contemporary Tropical Album.’ In 2022, she released a Christmas album named ‘Estefan Family Christmas.’

Major Works

‘Cuts Both Ways’ (1989) was her first album as a solo artist. The single "Don't Wanna Lose You" became her biggest hit so far. The album went multi-platinum in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S.

Her first Spanish album, ‘Mi Tierra’ (1993) is considered to be the most successful album of her career. She won many awards for the album, including her first Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album.

Her second Spanish album, ‘Abriendo Puertas’ (1995) sold more than five million copies worldwide. The soundtrack included the singles ‘Abriendo Puertas’, ‘Tres Deseos’, and ‘Mas Alla’.

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Her 1998 album ‘gloria!’ was different from all her previous works. The songs were groovier and hipper and targeted at a younger audience. The album was received well and went multi-platinum in Spain and Argentina.

Awards & Achievements

She has won five Latin Grammy Awards for outstanding contributions to Spanish language music. She is also the recipient of three Grammy awards, taking her tally to eight Grammy Awards.

She won the “Premio Lo Nuestro a la Excelencia" Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992; the award was given to honor her contribution to Latin music.

Personal Life & Legacy

Gloria Estefan tied the nuptial knot with Emilio Estefan in 1978. The couple has two children. She recently became a grandmother when her son had his first baby.

The Estefans operate several business ventures including a chain of restaurants and hotels.


She was the first female singer to receive the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Award.

She was the first pop star to perform for the Pope in 1995.

She has also appeared in several films and television shows.


Grammy Awards
2001 Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album Winner
1996 Best Tropical Latin Performance Winner
1994 Best Tropical Latin Album Winner
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