You don’t get to become the “Queen of Latin Pop” working as an interpreter for customs. You may be approached to work for the CIA but there is for sure no Grammy for best interpreter. Perhaps that’s why Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo Garcia de Estefan turned down the CIA and quit her j-o-b at Miami International to pursue a singing career and never looked back…or did she.
This smart, beautiful and talented daughter of a former bodyguard to dictator Fulgencio Batista, began to lend her charms and voice to the Miami Sound Machine while she was earning her B.A. in psychology from the University of Miami. Around the same time she began dating Miami Sound Machine band leader Emilio Estefan, who quickly went from bandmate and first boyfriend to lifelong partner and spouse. With her fairytale love story in the works, Gloria and the boys concentrated on using their unique Latin influenced sound to break into the charts and eventually did so in 1985 with their singles “Conga”, “Words get in the Way” and “Bad Boy”–that chorus should sound familiar whether you’ve heard the song before or not, hint, hint.
By the late 80’s the Miami Sound Machine had turned into Gloria Estefan with the ever changing Miami Sound Machine line up as her backing band. Throughout the past two decades Gloria has released several chart topping, award winning albums and singles in both English and Spanish and cemented herself as the Queen of Latin pop. Long before Jennifer Lopez rode the late 90’s Latin explosion and even Selena thought of crossing over, Gloria Estefan was topping the Billboard 100 and taking home Grammys, VMAs, ACE awards, and even earned an Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor–the highest award that can be given to a naturalized US citizen. Oh and she has made several film and TV appearances, written two children’s books and one cookbook, and owns several restaurants with her husband. So do not question her mogul status.
When it comes to style, Gloria has ridden every trend with poise and grace from the big hair and blue eye shadow of the 80s to the bling of the late 90s and whatever this past decade was known for. While she looks amazing in every era–seriously I was shocked to find out she was 54–my favorite incarnation of Gloria has to be the one I grew up with in the late 80s-early 90s. Gloria sported a the typical 80’s short cut earlier in the decade and by the early 90s was rocking some seriously big curly hair. Her beauty game stayed on point, throughout her entire career not just during the 80s, and has me seriously considering recreating her look from “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” for one of next month’s Halloween parties.
When it comes to this singer/mother/mogul/inspiration there isn’t really much I can say other than, peep the videos for a taste of classic Gloria and judge for yourself.
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