Gloria Estefan: Wikis


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Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan during a concert at the White House in 2009
Background information
Birth name Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García
Born September 1, 1957 (1957-09-01) (age 52)
Havana, Cuba
Origin Miami, Florida, United States
Genres Latin pop, dance-pop, pop dance, electronic dance
Occupations Singer-songwriter, actress, writer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, percussion
Years active 1977–present
Labels Epic
Associated acts Emilio Estefan
Miami Sound Machine
Jon Secada
Celia Cruz
Lili Estefan
Notable instruments
Vocals, Acoustic guitar, Percussion

Gloria Estefan (born Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García; September 1, 1957) is a Cuban singer and songwriter. She is in the top 100 best selling music artists with over 90 million albums sold worldwide,[1][2] 26.5 million of those in the United States alone.[3] She has won seven Grammy Awards, placing her among the most successful crossover performers in Latin music to date.


Early life and family

Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo was born September 1, 1957 in Havana, Cuba, to Jose and Gloria Fajardo. Her maternal grandfather, Leonardo Garcia, emigrated to Cuba from Pola de Siero, Asturias, Spain, where he married Gloria's maternal grandmother, originally from Logroño, Spain.[4][5] Prior to the Cuban Revolution, Her father was a Cuban soldier and a bodyguard to Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Shortly after they moved to the United States Gloria's father joined the US military and fought in the Vietnam War, later also participating in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. The Fajardo family fled to Lafayette, Indiana as a result of the Cuban Revolution, eventually settling down in Miami, Florida. Gloria attended St. Michael-Archangel School[6] and Our Lady Of Lourdes High School in Miami. She went on to graduate in 1979 with a B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in French, from the University of Miami.[7][8] When she was studying at university, she had worked as an English/Spanish/French translator at Miami International Airport Customs Department and, because of her language abilities, was once approached by the CIA as a possible employee.[9][10]

Personal life

Gloria Estefan receiving flowers for her birthday at her show in the Ahoy Rotterdam, September 1, 2008

Gloria became romantically involved with the Miami Sound Machine's band leader, Emilio Estefan, in 1976. She and Emilio married on September 2, 1978. They have a son, Nayib (born September 2, 1980) and a daughter, Emily Marie (born December 5, 1994). The family lives in the exclusive Star Island section of Miami Beach, Florida.[11]

Career in singing


1984-1988: The Miami Sound Machine

In the mid-1980s, Gloria Estefan was part of the group Miami Sound Machine. In 1984, Miami Sound Machine released their first Epic/Columbia album, Eyes Of Innocence, which contained the dance hit "Dr. Beat" as well as the ballad "I Need Your Love". Their more successful follow-up album Primitive Love was released in 1985 launching three Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Conga" (U.S. #10), "Words Get In The Way” (U.S. #5), and "Bad Boy" (U.S. #8) became follow up hits in the U.S. and around the world. "Words Get In The Way" reached #1 on the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, establishing that the group could perform pop ballads as successfully as dance tunes. The song "Hot Summer Nights" was also released that year and was part of the blockbuster movie Top Gun.

Their next album, 1987’s Let It Loose, went multi-platinum, with six million copies sold in the US. It featured the following hits: "Anything For You" (#1 Hot 100), "1, 2, 3" (#3 Hot 100), "Betcha Say That" (#36 Hot 100), "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" (#5 Hot 100), and "Can't Stay Away From You" (#6 Hot 100). "Can’t Stay Away From You," "Anything For You" and "1-2-3" were all #1 Adult Contemporary hits as well.

In 1988, Estefan took top billing and the band’s name changed to Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. Beginning in 1989, the group's name was dropped altogether. Estefan was credited as a solo artist, though the ever-changing line-up of Miami Sound Machine continues as her backing band to this day.

In 1989, after the worldwide chart success of single "Anything For You", her Let it Loose album was repackaged as Anything For You. It became the band's first UK #1 album, selling over a million copies. It was the biggest selling album of the year in The Netherlands, staying at #1 for 22 weeks. The album also took top honors in Australia and Canada, launching Estefan to superstar status.


1990: Cuts Both Ways, tour bus accident and surgery

In late 1989, she released her best-selling album to date, Cuts Both Ways. The album included the hit singles "Don't Wanna Lose You" (a Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit), "Oye mi Canto (Hear my Voice)", "Here We Are", "Cuts Both Ways" (#1 on the U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart) and "Get on Your Feet."

While touring in support of Cuts Both Ways on March 20, 1990, near Scranton, Pennsylvania, Estefan was critically injured, suffering a fractured spine when a speeding semi-truck crashed into her tour bus. She was taken to Community Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit and the next day was flown by helicopter to New York City, where surgeons at the Hospital for Special Surgery permanently implanted two titanium rods to stabilize her Vertebral column. Her rehabilitation required almost a year of intensive physical therapy by Michael Klepper, but she achieved a complete recovery. She returned to an international tour ten months after the accident.

1991-1992: Into The Light and The Greatest Hits

Estefan returned to the charts with a concept album, Into the Light, in 1991. She performed "Coming Out of the Dark" for the first time on the American Music Awards in January 1991, receiving a standing ovation as she took stage. "I was worried so much about crying before I finished that I completely didn't prepare for crying before I started.", Estefan said backstage after the performance.[citation needed] "Coming Out of the Dark" reached #1 in the U.S. as a single a few months later. Other popular singles were "Seal Our Fate" and "Live for Loving You". The album peaked at number five at the Billboard album chart, becoming her highest debut; it also peaked at number two on the British albums chart. Eventually the album went platinum in the UK and double platinum in the US. The Into the Light World Tour covered 100 cities in five countries and was seen by more than 10 million people worldwide.

She followed up Into the Light with her first greatest-hits album, Gloria Estefan Greatest Hits. It was released in 1992, and included the U.S. hit ballads "Always Tomorrow" and "I See Your Smile" along with the international hit dance track "Go Away". Also in 1992, Estefan sang backup on fellow Cuban-American singer-songwriter Jon Secada's breakthrough single "Just Another Day". She spent much of 1992 in Miami, helping relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Andrew.

1993: Mi Tierra and Christmas Through Your Eyes

In 1993 Estefan released the album Mi Tierra, her first Spanish-language album. It peaked at number twenty-seven on the Billboard album chart and number eleven on the British album chart. The singles "Mi Tierra" and the romantic-tropical ballad "Con Los Años Que Me Quedan" and "Mi Buen Amor", climbed to number-one on the "Hot Latin Tracks" chart in the United States. The album sold over eight million copies worldwide, went multiplatinum in Spain (15X) and platinum in the United States, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, Gold in Switzerland and Australia, and won a Grammy Award for "Best Tropical Latin Album".

That same year Estefan released her first Christmas album, Christmas Through Your Eyes, this classic collection was the first album from Estefan to not be produced by her husband Emilio Estefan Jr. Phil Ramone was the producer.The collection included the singles "This Christmas" and "Silent Night".The album went Platinum in the United States.

Estefan also collaborated with Frank Sinatra in 1993 on his album Duets with the song "Come Rain or Come Shine".

1994-1995: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me and Abriendo Puertas

Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me, a cover album of some of Estefan’s favorite songs from the 1960s and 1970s, was released in 1994. "Turn the Beat Around", the first single and a remake of Vicki Sue Robinson’s 1976 disco classic, became another international hit, certified gold in the US. It also was used in the Sharon Stone movie The Specialist.

1995’s Spanish-language album Abriendo Puertas earned Estefan her second Grammy Award for "Best Tropical Latin Album". It spun off two #1 dance hits, "Abriendo Puertas" and "Tres Deseos", and two #1 Latin singles, "Abriendo Puertas" and "Más Allá". The Miami Herald called Abriendo Puertas "a danceable pan-Latin American fusion, brilliantly built on improbable instrumental combinations and layers of styles and rhythms".[citation needed]

In January 1995, the Miami Sound Machine performed at the Super Bowl XXIX halftime show, with Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, in a program entitled "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye", to promote the upcoming Disney theme park attraction.

1996-1997: Summer Olympics and Destiny

The platinum-selling album Destiny, released in 1996, featured "Reach", the official theme of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Estefan performed in the Summer Olympics closing ceremony, in front of an audience of two billion people worldwide, during which she performed the songs "Reach" and "You'll Be Mine (Party Time)".

On July 18, 1996, Estefan embarked on her Evolution World Tour (her first tour in five years), which covered the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Australia, South Africa and Asia.

1998: Back to dance: gloria!

Estefan successfully rode the wave of the Disco revival in the U.S. during the late 1990s. On June 2, 1998, she released her eighth solo album, (twenty-first overall), gloria!. The album is highly influenced by Disco music, blended with Salsa music percussion and Latin flavour. To promote gloria!, she performed at the famed New York City discoteque Studio 54.

The album peaked at #23 on the Billboard 200. It was her first album during the 1990s not to hit Platinum status, but it did reach Gold certification. The single "Oye!" peaked at #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play and the Hot Latin Tracks charts. The other major hit single releases were "Don't Let This Moment End", which peaked at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Heaven's What I Feel", which peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The latter song also became a Latin chart hit.

1999: "Music of My Heart"

In 1999 Estefan performed a duet with *NSYNC on the single "Music Of My Heart", which was featured in a movie in which she also appeared, Music of the Heart. The song reached #2 on the Billboard chart and was nominated for an Academy Award. She also released a Latin hit with the Brazilian group So Pra Contrariar called "Santo Santo", sang with Luciano Pavarotti in "Pavarotti and Friends for Guatemala and Kosovo," released the benefit album “A Rosie Christmas,".

She also made a couple of sporting event appearances. The first event was a performance with Stevie Wonder at Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami. She also sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at game three of the 2003 World Series in Miami between the Florida Marlins and New York Yankees.


Greatest Hits Vol. II was released in 2001. It contained hits from 1993 to 2000, as well as three new songs and a remix of her first hit "Conga", retitled "Y-Tu-Conga". The song "Out of Nowhere" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category for Best Dance Recording; another song off the album, "You Can't Walk Away from Love", was featured in the movie Original Sin.

2003-2004: Unwrapped

In 2003, Estefan released Unwrapped, her first English-language CD in five years. To promote the CD, she toured Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States. The video for the single "Hoy", had been filmed in Machu Picchu, Peru. "Hoy" and "Tu Fotografía" both reached #1 on Billboard’s Latin chart, and "I Wish You" reached the AC top 20.

On July 28, 2004, at the Trump Tower building, in a press conference hosted by Donald Trump, Estefan announced that her then-upcoming tour would be her final one. The Live & Re-Wrapped Tour, her first tour in eight years, was produced by Clear Channel Entertainment. It began in Hidalgo, Texas on July 30, 2004, and played in 26 cities; it featured Estefan’s greatest hits, along with new material from Unwrapped. The final concert of the tour took place in Estefan's hometown of Miami on the weekend of October 9 and 10, in front of a sold-out crowd, despite having been delayed for two weeks by a hurricane.

2005: Mash-up hit with Mylo and the tributes

On April 7, 2005, Estefan participated in “Selena ¡VIVE!", the tribute concert for Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the "Queen of Tejano", who was murdered in March 1995 on the brink of her attempt to cross over as an English-language performer. Gloria performed "I Could Fall in Love", one of Selena's posthumously released crossover hits. Also that year, Estefan appeared on the soundtrack for the television series Desperate Housewives, singing a song titled "Young Hearts Run Free".

In late 2005, the club mash-up "Dr. Pressure" was released, which combined Mylo’s Number 19 hit "Drop The Pressure" with the Miami Sound Machine’s "Dr. Beat". It reached #3 on the UK singles chart and #1 on the Australian dance chart, providing Estefan with her first top 40 hit and commercial radio airplay since 1996

2006: Compilations and the UK promo tour

Gloria Estefan performs for the crew and their families during a special event to celebrate the United Through Reading program aboard the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), 14 September 2006

Along with dozens of other prominent singers in early 2006, Estefan performed in Los Angeles at a tribute to singer Dionne Warwick. Estefan sang "Walk On By", one of Warwick’s signature songs.

In October 2006, Sony released a 2-CD compilation The Essential Gloria Estefan, featuring most of her biggest hits from 1984 to 2003, and In the ensuing couple of months, Estefan made several radio and television appearances to promote The Essential Gloria Estefan including a December 9, 2006 appearance on ITV’s The X Factor.

Estefan also released two additional similar compilation albums that year for other markets. The Very Best of Gloria Estefan was released in Europe and Mexico, and was similar to The Essential Gloria Estefan, but also included as a bonus track "Dr. Pressure". This compilation was certified GOLD in Ireland.[12] Oye Mi Canto!: Los Grandes Exitos, a collection of her Spanish-language hits was released in Spain. It included a bonus DVD, which included various music videos and television performances.

2008-Present: Idol Gives Back, 90 Millas World Tour and other presentations

In 2008 Gloria appeared during the seventh season of American Idol, in the special charity episode "Idol Gives Back", performing her song "Get on Your Feet" along with Sheila E.. The performance was recorded and was released at the American iTunes store; the video of the performance reached the number twenty of the store Top 100 videos, and the song became the most downloaded song by Estefan in just one day.

Estefan became the headliner of the new venue of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Her three-day shows were sold out. She then headed to Canada to perform at the Casino Rama. In August she started her "90 Millas World Tour". Gloria played concerts in London, Rotterdam, Belfast and Aruba. Gloria performed several concerts in Spain, specifically Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Tenerife. Two of these concerts, in Las Ventas, Spain,[13] and Rotterdam, The Netherlands, were free to the public.

Back in the states, Gloria performed a special concert at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to raise funds for the Education of South Florida.[14] Gloria was also a headliner for Bette Midler's "Annual Hulaween Gala" along with other special guests such Kathy Griffin and a costume contest judged by Michael Kors. The event benefited the New York Restoration Project.[15]

During the Thanksgiving season, Gloria Estefan appeared on Rosie O' Donnell's television special Rosie Live! singing a duet with O'Donnell titled "Gonna Eat For Thanksgiving", an alternate version of "Gonna Eat For Christmas" from on O'Donell's album A Rosie Christmas.

In 2009, Estefan announced plans for her "farewell tour" of Latin America and South America.[16] Estefan has explained that this tour is intended to be her last, so that she can spend more time with her daughter Emily.[17] Estefan has also recently completed a 3 night concert series with Carole King entitled "She's Got a Friend" at the Foxwoods Resort Casino.

The tour continued with a concert at Guadalajara in Mexico, as part of a program designed to improve tourism in Mexico[18], and a series of appearances at music festivals throughout Europe concerts, including headlining at the Summer Pops Music Festival in Liverpool on the 27th July[19].

Upcoming Projects

Estefan is currently working on two new albums to be released soon: the first is a Christmas album which is not known to be a Spanish or English-language Christmas album. The second is a new studio-album which is a collection of American standards as she is continuing to write songs for other artists[20].

Recently was announced that Estefan's husband, producer Emilio Estefan Jr., and her gathered Latin artists to remake Michael Jackson's song "We Are The World", but only that this time would be sung in Spanish. The song, already written by Estefan and approved by Quincy Jones, has been recorded and called "Somos El Mundo". It premiered during El Show de Cristina on March 1, 2010[21] and all the funds will go to the Haiti relief.[22][23]

Career outside of singing

Film and television appearances

In addition to her singing career, Estefan has appeared in two movies, Music of the Heart (1999) and For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000). Estefan made a cameo appereance with her husband Emilio Estefan Jr. on the smash-box office hit Marley & Me in 2008, her first movie role since 2000.

Estefan was cast to star as Connie Francis, a U.S. pop singer of the 1950s and early 1960s, in Who's Sorry Now?, based on Francis’ life. Filming supposedly began in late 2008, according to Parade Magazine (March 23, 2008). Estefan, in an interview with, stated the film would be released in 2009, but nothing happened yet and the production remains unofficial. As of December 2009 the film has been dropped as Connie Francis had irreconcilable differences with Estefan over the film's writer. Francis wanted to hire writer Robert L. Freedman, who had written the Emmy Award winning mini-series Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. Estefan refused to consider him, which according to Francis ended the project collaboration.[24]

Estefan has made occasional television appearances as well. She appeared in the ABC television special Elmopalooza, which aired February 20, 1998, in which she sang the song "Mambo, I, I, I." In April 2004, Estefan appeared on the Fox Broadcasting Company’s program, American Idol, but she declined an offer to be an official judge, saying she does not like to "judge" others.[citation needed]


Estefan has written two children's books: The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog (2005) and Noelle's Treasure Tale (2006). The latter book spent a week at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller list for children's books.[25]

She also collaborated on a cookbook with her husband entitled Estefan Kitchen, which was published in 2008. It contains 60 traditional Cuban recipes.[26]

Other business ventures

The Cardozo hotel on Ocean Drive, in Miami Beach, Florida.

Gloria and Emilio Estefan also own a number of business establishments, including seven Cuban-themed restaurants (Bongos Cuban Café). The restaurants are located in Miami; Miami Beach, Downtown Miami, part of the American Airlines Arena; Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney in Orlando; Mexico City; and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They also own two hotels: the Costa d'Este in Vero Beach which opened in 2008,[27] and The Cardozo in Miami Beach.

Gloria Estefan was appointed to the board of directors for Univision Communications Inc. in 2007, according to Hispanic Market Weekly. The Estefans' estimated net worth as of 2007 was approximately $500 million, according to an article in People En Espanol magazine (February 2007).

In June 2009, Gloria Estefan and her husband, producer Emilio Estefan, bought a "very small" ownership stake in the Miami Dolphins.[28][29][30]


In addition to her seven Grammys, Estefan has received a number of other awards. In May 1993, she received the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest award that can be given to a naturalized U.S. citizen.[citation needed] She has won the Hispanic Heritage Award, an MTV Video Music Award, two cable television ACE Awards and the 1993 National Music Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award. The singer is the recipient of the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her husband, Emilio, a world-renowned music impresario, received a star adjacent to his wife’s on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.

Estefan holds an honorary doctoral degree in music from the University of Miami, awarded in 1993. In 2002, Barry University in Miami bestowed upon her an honorary law degree. Along with her husband, Emilio, Estefan received an honorary doctoral degree in music from the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2007. She also delivered the commencement address to the 2007 graduating class.

In 2002, she received the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Medallion of Excellence for Community Service. The singer was Musicares Person of the Year in 1994. Gloria also founded the Gloria Estefan Foundation whose goal is to help those with spinal cord injuries.

She has been honored twice by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1992, she served as a public member of the United States Delegation to the 47th General Assembly to the United Nations.

She was awarded "Person of the Year" at the Latin Grammy Awards in a ceremony aired in November 2008, in recognition of her twenty-five year singing career. She is the first female singer to receive this award.[31] She also received a Latin Grammy for "Best Traditional Tropical Album" for 90 Millas, and a Latin Grammy for "Best Tropical Song" for her single, "Píntame De Colores". This marked the first occasion for Estefan to ever win a Grammy award for a song (either Latin or non-Latin).[32]

On March 12, 2009 she was honored by the BMI Foundation with the "BMI Icon" award.[33] The award was previously given to other singers such as Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Brian Wilson.[34]


Albums discography

Singles discography



  • Video Exitos (1986) L.D.L Enterprises
  • Homecoming Concert (1989) CMV)
  • Evolution (1990 CMV)
  • Coming Out Of The Dark (1991) SMV)
  • Into The Light World Tour (1992) SMV)
  • Everlasting Gloria! (1995) EMV)
  • The Evolution Tour Live In Miami (1996) EMV)
  • Don't Stop (1998 EMV)
  • Que siga la tradición (2001 EMV)
  • Live In Atlantis (2002 EMV)
  • Famous (2003) (Video journal about making-of Unwrapped LP; included in CD package)
  • Live & Unwrapped (2004 EMV)


  • The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog (2005) ISBN 0-06-082623-1.
  • Noelle's Treasure Tale: A New Magically Mysterious Adventure (2006)
  • Estefan's Kitchen (2008)


See also


  1. ^ Estefan awarded for her career at the Latin Grammy's
  2. ^ "Celebrity Counsel For Miami GuitarTown Gloria Estefan Autographs Gibson Les Paul Sculpture “Gateway to the Americas”", Miami GuitarTown, Gibson Guitar Corporation, March 17, 2009
  3. ^
  4. ^ Gloria Estefan Biography on Family Roots (Spanish)
  5. ^ Gloria Estefan Interview.(Spanish)
  6. ^ "Sister Ann Christine Charron, IHM", IHM Sisters - Then and Now, January 2010, Sister Ann Christine Charron, IHM., who had mentored Gloria Estefan at St. Michael-Archangel School.
  7. ^ "Gloria Estefan", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Florida
  8. ^ Gloria Estefan Biography on
  9. ^ "Gloria Estefan Could Have Been a Spy", People magazine, March 4, 2009
  10. ^ "Gloria Estefan: “La CIA me propuso ser espía”", People en Espanol, March 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "Gloria Estefan's Miami Beach, Florida home", Celebrity Detective
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Somos El Mundo Video Premieres, Stars Pitbull, Shakira, Juanes, David Archuleta, Daddy Yankee retrieved March 2, 2010
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Daeida Magazine (December 2009) – Interview by: David Ybarra pg. 26 LINK
  25. ^ "Best sellers: Children's books - November 12, 2006". New York Times. 
  26. ^ "Emilio and Gloria Estefan launch Cuban food cookbook". New York Daily News. 2008-12-13. 
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ "Dolphins announce Estefans' stake in team", Sports Illustrated (via AP Miami), June 25, 2009
  29. ^ "Emilio and Gloria Estefan give Miami Dolphins celebrity appeal", The Miami Herald, June 26, 2009
  30. ^ "Estefans will acquire minority stake in Miami Dolphins", Miami Herald, June 23, 2009
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Gloria Estefan (born 1 September 1957) Singer-songwriter-actress-author-producer-philanthropist-entrepreneur; born Gloria Maria Milagross Fajardo.


  • I'm never going to stop making music. I couldn't.
    • (December 9, 2005)
  • The most beautiful thing about music is that it transcends most anything.
    • (February 5, 2008)
  • I was a straight-A student, baby!
    • Estefan, laughing, as she confirmed a reporter's observation that "she is good at whatever she studies." (August 12, 2008)
  • There is still a Castro in [Cuba]. And I think the status quo will not change until [Fidel] moves to the great beyond. [However,] Raul Castro [recently installed as president of Cuba] is a more open-minded guy [than Fidel]. [Raul] lives a more capaitalistic lifestyle. And he has been somewhat more open with the press and allowing the sudents to speak up. But the reality is that he won't do much until Fidel is gone.
    • (March 12, 2008)
  • The music is one of the beautiful things that has survived the Castro regime. I have played for audiences all over the world but I've never played for a Cuban audience. For [husband] Emilio and me, the music is the one tie to our homeland.
    • (March 12, 2008)
  • Who is Gloria Estefan today? I'm very fulfilled as a woman. I've been able to have a wonderful family life, a fantastic career. I have a lot of good friends around me. My family has been my grounding point, and rooted me deeply to the earth. . . I'm very happy. I've done everything I ever wanted to do. The key to me was -- I told my husband when we were in our 20s -- I'm going to work really hard, so one day I won't have to work so hard. And to me what that was, was having choices. And I do have choices now -- and I have take full advantage of that. It's important for me now to be here for my little girl [Emily, age 12]. My son is full grown -- and I know have quickly that goes. So, I'm balancing being a mother -- which to me is the most important role I have on this earth -- and still being creative, writing -- which is what I love to do. So, I've been able to branch out into not just writing songs like you have heard through the years -- but writing children's books, writing a screenplay. But at my core that's what I am: a writer. And that's what I enjoy doing behind the scenes: writing the songs for albums, recording it. And that's why you have seen me take more of a back seat to being the center of attention, and being out on tour and doing that kind of thing. I've stepped up a lot of my charity work. This year, the five concerts I did were all for charity: different ones and my own foundation. So, that's becoming a bigger and bigger part of my life -- as I wanted it to be. And [I keep] just growing and evolving.
    • iTunes interview (released June 2, 2007)
  • Ever since I was a little girl, I felt that I wanted to be of service here on the earth: I felt that was my job somehow. And whatever I was going to do, I was going to find a way to do that. And so, as I got a larger audience -- a broader audience worldwide, and more and more people were listening to me -- it became important for me to share that thought. And the song "Get on Your Feet" -- which I didn't write, it was written actually by my guitar player, bass player and keyboardist . . . They knew how I felt. [They knew] what my thoughts were . . . So although it was written before my accident, it was thrown back at me so many times . . . But that really is my motto. I look always forward. I look ahead. And that's why I chose to record that song, because I really loved the message. Then "Coming Out of the Dark," which came on the heals of that accident and my rehab, and the incredible love that I felt from everyone worldwide that helped me through that difficult moment when I broke my back in 1990, is a big thank you to my fans -- and an expression of how ultimately we are here for each other to help one another. And the strength of prayer . . . That's why I say I know the love that saved me, you're sharing with me. We do have the power to save one another . . . And I wanted to thank everyone for being there for me.
    • iTunes interview (released June 2, 2007)
  • My family was musical on both sides. My father's family had a famous flautist and a classical pianist. My mother won a contest to be Shirley Temple's double -- she was the diva of the family. At 8, I learned how to play guitar. I used to play songs from the '20s, '30s and '40s in the kitchen for my grandmother. After my dad was a prisoner in Cuba for two years, we moved to Texas, where I was the only Hispanic in the class. I remember hearing "Ferry Cross the Mersey," by Gerry and the Pacemakers, and thinking, "that had bongos and maracas -- that was really a bolero." And the Beathles song, "Till There was You" . . . also Latin. I wrote poetry, which got me into lyrics. Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Elton John pulled me into pop. I started singing with a band -- just for fun -- when I 17. And pretty soon, I was thinking I could sing pop in English as well as Spanish. And as you know, we did that and we broke through. But we waited until 1993 to release "Mi Tierra" -- we wanted my fans to be rady for the traditional Cuban music. And then we kept adding: more Cuban influences, more Latin America. And, underneath it all, African drums and rhythm. The concept of "90 Millas" starts with the songs of the '40s. We invited 25 masters of Latin music -- giants on the cutting edge of creativity, musicians who pushed it out to the world, young Cuban artists and Puerto Ricans who are huge -- so we could blend cultures and generations. So it is like coming home, but not exactly to the old Cuba.
    • (September 7, 2007)
  • I'm singing the hardest song [the national anthem] you could possibly sing at this hour of the morning [8 a.m.]. [I came from Cuba] when I was sixteen months old, although I didn't become a citizen until I was actually about 9 or 10 years old [1966-67]. I had to leave the country to become a citizen, because we had to go to Canada -- and I'll never forget that trip as long as I live. But it was very important for me then, and for them [new citizens] today, What more special day can you have: July 4th in the American Mecca. It doesn't get better than that for them. Well, I'll tell you this -- and I can base it on my own feelings. The beauty of this country is that you can become a citizen of this wonderful nation, and still keep who you are: your culture, your lifestyle. It's a melting pot that allows you not to melt if you don't want to. And it's a wonderful place. I love this country. I really admire it: its ideals, the freedom, the things it stands for. As an immigrant that came from a country that doesn't have those freedoms and still doesn't have them -- which is Cuba -- it's much more special to me: To be able to live here and to be able to have the life that I do in this country.
    • interview with Sam Champion on Good Morning Ameica television progam before ceremony at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to swear in 1,000 new U.S. citizens (July 4, 2007)
  • All of us know the true meaning of freedom. Some of us appreciate it more than those who have been here for many generations.
    • (July 5, 2007)
  • The most beautiful things in this country have the flavor of other places. Chinese food. Pizza came from the Italians, but it's an American experience. French fries. There's always some other cultures involved. You don't have to be a hyphenated American, but you can certainly be an American who doesn't forget where they came from.
    • quoted in commentary on (July 6, 2007)
  • I'm very excited about this wonderful opportunity to take part in the evolution of a company that is integral to the Hispanic community and a powerful force in all areas of the media.
    • statement issued regarding appointment to board of directors of Univision Communications, (June 9, 2007)
  • It is so important for me to keep authentic Cuban sounds alive. All of these great artists have changed the landscape of Latin music and it's an honor to have them on this album ["90 Millas," released in September of 2007]. I believe this album will expose a new generation to the richness of Cuban music.
    • news release (July 20, 2007)
  • Emilio and I like projects to breathe and grow. We started with a concept -- write songs, make demos, then let the guest stars listen to them and then afffect the writing process. For Jose Feliciano, I had written a chorus and a bit of a melody. He started playing the chorus and ad-libbing. I went, "This is the [stuff]! Forget my melody!" Carlos Santana worked just the other way. He wanted me to record a plished take singing first, so his playing could recreate my emotion. I got goose bumps [writing "90 Millas"]. Like in "Esperando," which is addressed to Cubans on the island. Those of us in America, we're like the bogeyman, but I wanted Cubans at home to know: Whatever happened doesn't matter. The future is for us to heal. Adn also: because we're here, we latched onto any part of our culture. Yes and no [this is a political record]. Politics is life, so yes. but it's not specific. Saying that 90 miles haven't divided us sends a message about freedom for Cuba -- and for everyone.
    • (September 7, 2007)
  • It took us two years to write, produce and arange the new album [90 Millas]. Aside from that, I wrote the two children's books based on Noelle, my bulldog, and I was fortunate enought that they ended up on the New York Times bestseller list. By now, we've got seven restaurants and two hotels, which we're very hands-on with, and we're building a third one in Vero Beach, Florida, And I took a vacation for once, because ever since Emilio and I got married in'78, every trip we've take has been for work. So last year, we went to Egypt, Panama, the Bahamas and Greece. It was fantastic!
    • Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • If you say "90 miles" to any Cuban, they'll know exactly what it means. It's the stretch of water between Key West, which is the southernmost tip of the continental United States, and Cuba. And for any Cuban who cannot go back, it represents not just a physical distance, but a spiritual one. That's why in most of the songs there is the word "distancia." The idea was to take the nostalgia and the sounds that we started with on "Mi tierra,' which was meant to sound like it was made in a past era, and do the opposite. We moved forward to 2007, with the technological equipment we have today, and gave it a very vibrant sound.
    • Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • My father rarely spoke of life before [he left Cuba]. About prison, he jsut said, "That man is a genius at PR." Castro would come to the jail in the middle of the night and ask the prisoners, "What are you doing here? Don't you see we're trying to do the right thing?" The reason I'm not more political is because I have music. And from a young age, I needed it. After prison, my father came to America, joined the Army, fought in Vietnam -- and was exposed to Agent Orange. He died a slow, horrible death. Music was my escape.
    • (September 7, 2007)
  • We wanted to show the influence Cuban music has had on musicians from all over, so we invited 25 of the top Latin musicians in the world, and it was a great honor they paid me. Some of them are actually inventors, like Cachao, the Cuban bassist creditied with creating mambo.
    • Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • Always. Difficulties happen and you get through them. When I say "no llores," it doesn't just mean literally crying; it means looking at the bad things in your life rather than the positive. I always think of Celia Cruz as an inspiration. So many times I saw her backstage and her knee was killing her and I had to help her up the steps, but she would step on that stage and nobody knew that she was hurting.
    • answer to question, "We love that your first single, "No Llores," is about living like there's no tomorrow. Has that always been your philosophy?" Latin Magazine (September, 2007)
  • I'm in great shape considering I have hardware in my back. I work out constantly to keep my muscles limber and my abs strong so they can take the burnt of everything.
    • Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • In every interview I've done since the beginning, [I'm asked] 'How do you feel about opening doors?' And I always say, 'There are two men who opened the doors for all of us, and they were Feliciano and Santana.
    • Reuters (July 23, 2007)
  • [Luciano Pavorati's] brilliance in music will live in our hearts forever. His spirit as a humanitarian surpasses even that. It is truly the end of a musical era. I am honored to have had the opportunity to know him and perform with him
    • (September 7, 2007)
  • What we didn't want to do [with "90 Millas] was "Mi Tierra, Part 2," because that album was so special. Yes, we wanted to do a Cuban album, but didn't know exactly in what vein. And, as it grew, it grew into a more modern thing. It was if we had continued to bring this music along with the years.
    • Reuters (July 23, 2007)
  • What I wanted to be on this album ["90 Millas"] is me, with everything I have experienced so far.
    • Reuters (July 23, 2007)
  • This blend of musicians on '90 Millas' is historically significant on a number of levels. This is the first and quite possibly the last time that all of these legendary artists will play together on one CD.
    • -- exerpt from Burgundy Records announcement of '90 Millas' (August 10, 2007)
  • The 2004 tour hasn't ended. I still have to finish Latin America and Europe. [Celia Cruz and I] were good friends. Emilio did her first video; we wrote a song for her. I would have loved to have had her there [when recording "90 Millas"]. But she was there. I felt her. That's the beauty of a legacy. Celia was economical and tasty in her choices. And in the pocket like you wouldn't believe? [Which means] It's like a rhythm, from son music. To have it it is to be locked in, like a tuned engine. Once you're in the pocket, you're free. That's why, for most of these songs, I sang and I sang until I had the emotion, then . . . one take. {Couldn't you be considered the heiress to Celia Cruz?] you can't give youself a title! That's crazy! If I ever start talking like that, please put me out of my misery. I don't care if I'm 80, with my butt to my ankles, put me down.
    • (September 7, 2007)
  • The phenomenal Celia Cruz [is missing]. But although she couln't be here physically [Cruz died in 2003], I felt her presence throughout the entire recording of the album. It's still impossible for me to feel like Celia's gone, simply because she is still so alive to me through her music and the friendship we shared for so many years. There were moments during this recording that felt to me like she was directing me to a degree or giving me ideas for where to go with the song.
    • Reuters (July 23, 2007)
  • For the rest of my life, the one song that people will remember -- regardless -- is "Conga" . . . I never get tired of singing it. It never gets old for me.
    • iTunes interview (released June 2, 2007)
  • 'Live for Loving You' is a kind of song that really can live in many different genres. And, of course, when you do your live performances the first time that you perform a song you want to stay true to the record: because tha's what people want to hear, they want to hear the hit. But then after you have done it fifty thousand times and through many, many different tours, you start experimenting and doing stuff to surprise people. So, the cut that we are doing here for the "iTunes Orginal" is something that we love to do -- because we just took it and really broke it down to a Samba. You know, the Brazilians have an amazing edge -- percussively, I think -- they have amazing rhythms. And this song really fit that rhythm very nicely. So, we wanted to do it acoustically and really cool -- and like we've done many times on tour. Just break it down to just acoustic, no synths and things of that nature: just make it organic. And I love that song for that reason: because you could perform it with just a couple of bongos and some vocals if you had to. And it would still work.
    • iTunes interview (released June 2, 2007)
  • When you sing in English and Spanish, it's two completely different forms of expression and . . . even the people who don't speak Spanish love to hear me sing in Spanish.
    • iTunes interview (released June 2, 2007)
  • "Get on Your Feet" is really my motto. I look always forward. I look ahead. That's why I choose to record that song, because I really love the message.
    • iTunes interview (released June 2, 2007)
  • We do have the power to save one another . . .
    • iTunes interview (released June 2, 2007)
  • The last thing I wanted to do was put politics into my music . . . because music was my escape.
    • iTunes interview (released June 2, 2007)
  • I cannot imagine a world without music. It would be . . . well, I cannot imagine it.
    • Berklee College of Music commencement address (May 12, 2007)
  • [She was the first pop singer to perform for a Pope.] And a woman at that. Apparently Pope John Paul II and his boys -- is that what you call them? -- loved one of my songs and thought I was puting spiritual messages in my music. I'm not religious as such. Dogma and I don't get along. They knew all that, but the Pope was celebrating 50 years as a priest, and he asked for me. Quite an audience -- bishops, cardinals, a handful of nuns -- and me, covered from neck to ankles.
    • (September 7, 2007)
  • [I would like to be] one of [the first pop singers to perform in a free Cuba]. I know the list is huge. And it would be hard to pull off -- I'd have a lump as big as a tostone [fried green plantain] in my throat. But oh my God, what a dream -- it would be the height of my personal and professional career.
    • (September 7, 2007)
  • I'm happy and I have a great life.
    • Gayle King XM satellite radio program (October 23, 2006)
  • My Conga people [fans] will find me anywhere I go.
    • comment at Zo's Summer Groove benefit concert (Miami, July 15, 2006)
  • I never stop learning.
    • Berklee College of Music commencement address (May 12, 2007)
  • Music is a healing force and we have the privilege of sharing it. It's an awesome responsibility. It has to be something that says something from you. It's a beautiful way to live your life. Whether you end up doing it for a business or just end up singing for your kids, teaching other people to do music, or doing therapy, go forward with a lot of belief, because it's such an amazing way to live your life.
    • commencement address to 2007 graduating class at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA
    • (May 13, 2007)
  • Esperando (Cuando Cuba Sea Libre) is probably one of the most personal songs from the new [September, 2007] CD, "90 Millas" . . . as it really speaks about the celebration, nostalgia and emotion that will happen the day Cuba is free. If we're to move forward in Cuba, we really have to have a lot of forgiveness for each other and look towards the future.
    • (March 28, 2007)
  • I doubt that Fidel will ever come back to power. I think he is slowly going to the great beyond. Too slowly . . . he could have gone a long time ago.
    • Dutch television interview (March 1, 2007)
  • I tell him [husband Emilio] you are lucky I am not a jealous woman, because look at the women he's worked with: Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Thalia, Madonna. These very sexy women. I trust him.
    • Dutch television interview (March 1, 2007)
  • For the past 32 years of our career our position against the Castro regime has been crystal clear. We have mainatained this position with Presidents, Royality in several countries, Pope Joh Paul and anyone who has broached the subject of Cuba with us. Even when it would have been easier to stay silent, we have expressed our disagreement with the Cuban dictatorship and have spoken worldwide of the pain of the Cuban people. We have never nor would we ever collaborate with anyone who supports the Cuban dictatorship or Che Guevara. This should be apparently clear due to our trajectory.
    • Gloria and Emilio Estefan's Statement Regarding her forthcoming CD "90 Millas" (March 28, 2007)
  • [Is "90 Millas" another crossover -- into World Music?] I can see that. The core is African rhythm -- half of the world's music comes from that. The difference between our music and American blues: Cubans may have been slaves, but in Cuba slaves became part of the family. They could buy their freedom. And they are Island people. And Island people are happier. But, you know, in the '80s, when we released "Conga," wasn't that World Music? Everywhere we went, people got it. And why? The drums. So maybe all music is World Music, and the only question is: Do you like it?
    • (September 7, 2007)
  • Well, I'm proud of it. I was declard persona non grata not by the country but by a terrorist regime. But I know that Cubans love me and my music.
    • answer to question "How does it feel to be declared persona non grata by your own country?" (November 25, 2006)
  • Well, not so much politics. A couple of my songs have a social commentary, like Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice). I really can't escape from politics because my father was a political prisoner in Cuba; he went to Vietnam. But I try to stay away from politics as much as possible.
    • answer to question "Do you inject politics into your music?" (Nobember 25, 2006)
  • It taught me that I had a lot more discipline than I thought; a lot more patience. [I became] more expressive, not only personally with my family, but in my music and my way of communicating.
    • Gayle King XM satellite radio program (October 23, 2006)
  • It has always been my dream in life to help as many people as possible. That dream and many more have come true for me and my family, and I find my greatest rewards come from sharing what I have received with others. Emilio and I established this foundation to expand our charitale work in an effort ot help those less fortunate. Our focus with the foundation has always been to help the many inidividuals whose challenges have fallen through the cracks of the traditional charitable organizations.
    • announcment of February 9, 2007, fundraising gala benefit, including a dinner and concert at the Estefans' residence on Star Island, near Miami, Florida, for the Brain Institute at Miami Children's Hospital ( January 16, 2007)
  • I do also have a couple of surprises -- which I can't tell you, because then it wouln't be a surprise. So, don't ask what the surprise is. I'm not going to tell you.
    • comment at press conference for Februrary 9, 2007, fundraising gala benefit dinner at Gloria and Emilio Estefans' home on Star Island, near Miami, Florida ( January 16, 2007)
  • Our focus with the [Gloria Estefan] foundation has always been to help the many individuals whose challenges have fallen through the cracks of the traditional charitable organizations.
    • (February 9, 2007)
  • This is an opening gift tht we are making in conjunction with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of half a million dollars.

comment about contribution to Miami Children's Hostpital's Brain Institute, the nationally preeminent brain center that treats over 45,000 children from around the world every year

    • (April 10, 2007)
  • We established [The Gloria Estefan Foundation] in 1993, because I was getting so many pitches from charities that I thought the best way to maximize our charity dollars was to establish a foundation, where you can do so many things. [The royalties from] four of my songs go directly to my foundation, and I don't have to bother people for money. I have been funding it myself all these years, from diffent concerts that I do that pay right to my foundation. It's what I love to do. It's something that makes me very happy. . . [The foundation has helped] from small things to large things. Every time there has been a natural disaster, we, thought the American Red Cross, have helped. Not just here , but in Nicaragua and Honduras. Obviously, Miami is very close to my heart.
    • (February 9, 2007)
  • Well, you know, in the first place I'm a pretty private person. But I can assure you that I'm no saint by any means of the imagination. You know, we go to parties and we drink like any other people. But I think the key word is balance. I've been married (to keyboardist Emilio Estefan) for 28 years; we've been together for 30 years. I had my son when I was very young and my priority has always been my family. My husband has been very supportive. We live a very normal life, something that may be boring to some people. But it's a great life! We travel a lot. My son is 26 and my dauther is 11. Family is the center of our lives. We try to stay out of the tabloids.
    • answer to question "How do you maintain your clean image, something not every artist can do?" (November 25, 2006)

  • A woman's exterior beauty is a reflection of her internal peace and happiness.
    • (July 31, 2007)
  • My grandmother would shanghai pilots at the Havana airport so they'd bring me cartons of mango baby food -- the only kind I'd eat. I learned to eat peach later. And in every carton, she'd slip in a Cuban record.
  • I had gone to Miami Children's [Hospital] to do a book reading for my "Noelle" book, and they [staff at The Brain Institute] introduced me to this project that they had. And it so beautifully coincides with my spinal cord research -- my Miami Project [to cure spinal paralysis] pet charity -- because, as you know, I was paralyzed and in a wheelchair. So, I want to be there for that cure. It makes me happy. I really feel privileged to be of service. From the day I can remember, you know -- as far back as I can remember in my memory --I wished to be of service in some way.

(explanation of why she choose the Brain Institute at Miami Children's Hospital as the beneficiaries of the two million dollars raised at the "En Casa con Gloria [At Home With Gloria] An Intimate Evening . . . An Unforgettable Performance" held at the Estefans' residence on Star Island, near Miami, Florida

    • (February 9, 2007)
  • We are trying to celebrate in the new album -- 90 Miles [coming out in the summer of 2007] is the fact that after almost 50 years our homeland [Cuba] is not ours. We have amazing musicians on board preparing this album, and some continue to come on board. It's all new music we've wriiten - all new stuff . . . No relaxing for me . . . I've got the Connie Francis screenplay I'm working on, which we just finished. We have a producer . . . I've got to meet the director that I'm going to go hammer . . . I've been working on it since 2000 with Connie Francis, who is darling. Plus, I'm a mommy . . . I take her [12-year-old Emily] to games, take her to school, pick her up . . . We're women, we're used to [constantly juggling responsibilities].
    • (February 9, 2007)
  • [I've] written all original music [for the forthcoming Spanish-language CD], as was [1993's] "Mi tierra" -- years back. It's very organic. It's really down to the roots. I'm in love with that record. It's very rhythmic. It's a very passionate record, and I'm thrilled. It should come out next [2007] summer. And a single probably early on in the summer. The album probably will be [out] around September [2007].
    • BBC radio interview (December 13, 2006)
  • Oh, that's a good question because what I would consider essential may be different than what my record company and the fans might have in mind. But when you do a retrospective of 20 years like this (album) and realize that you had so many hit singles, it's really an honor. There's a couple of songs that I wrote, one is called "Along Came You" for my daughter Emily; and the other, "Nayib's Song (I Am Here for Your) for my son. Both are in the 'slow disc.' I put them in even if they were not singles or hits because for me my being a mother is an essesntial part of who I am."
    • answer to question "The title of your new album is "The Essential Gloria Estefan. What is the essential Gloria Estefan?" (November 25, 2006)

  • Well, if you compare my album even as late as two years ago, I think as a writer I am much more at the forefront. I wrote all the lyrics and lots of the music on that album. It shows humor of the writer side of me. But I have evolved since then.
    • answer to question "How different is your music now from what it was 20 years ago?" (November 25, 2006)

  • Well, fortunately, I am bilingual and I have really two cultures. So when you have that to draw on, you are able to write from one extreme to the other, or anywhere in-between. If you look at my discography, you will notice that one of my favorite albums is "Gloria!", which is totally dance-oriented, with very sensual lyrics; and then there's "Mi Tierra which is totoally roots-oriented and really promoted our culture worldwide through music, and that's important for me and also for people of Cuba to know that even though we were in exile and I grew up in the States, our culture and our music are very much a part of my life.
    • answer to the question "How do you reinvent yourself through the years?" (November 25, 2006)

  • Now my life is pretty much bliss. I have two healthy children and a great marriage (Emilio and I have been together for 28 years). I still have one ambition: to do a concert in Cuba. It's the beginning of the end for Castro and, well, I've performed for every audience of practically every nationality except my own. Performing there would be one ot the highlights of my life.
    • (Telegraph Magazine Novemeber 14, 2006)
  • Music should always be a means of bridging gaps and uniting people. The beauty of music is that it can -- and should -- gather a wide variety of concepts in a way that's universal.
    • ( February 1, 2007)
  • My favorite process is writing, from day one. The songs I have written throughout the years were a real great opportunity for me to communicate, because I think tha'ts my prime objective on this planet.
    • Associated Press interview (November 3, 2006)
  • It would be difficult for me to go back [permanently] to Cuba because Miami is my city. . . That's where we have made our life. That's were I feel at home . . . But I would love to be, you know, whatever help I can be [post-Castro] to the people who will be leading themselves. I do think Cuba does have to find its leadership from within. They have a very different society from what we are used to. They are going to need certain things that a democracy might not provide right away. And I don't think it's going to be as quick a change. I think [Castro's] death will bring change, needless to say. But I think his brother [Raul] will try to save the specter of the revolution for quite a while. And maybe start doing some opening [to improve U.S.-Cuba relations]. That is what I feel will happen.
    • BBC radio interview (December 13, 2006)
  • We went back [to Cuba] once, in 1979, when President Jimmy Carter gave the opportunity for people with family members to go. We went to help get Emilio's only brother and his two kids [one of whom, Lili, is la Flaca from Univision's El Gordo y la Flaca] out. We got them a visa through Costa Rica, but when Emilio's brother announced that he was leaving, [the government] starting taking repressive measures against him, so he went into hiding for two months until they were able to leave. While we were there, Emilio and I bought them things they didn't even know existed, like apples and olives, from the diplotiendas [stores open only to tourists]. To this day, Lili has an olive fetish.
    • Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • My dream is to perform in a big, celebratory concert in a free Cuba, but I don't think they'd even let me into the country. And if they did, I'd have to speak against what is going on, which the government fears. I don't know how much change toward democracy we'll see as long as one of the Castro brothers is around, but I do believe there is a future with a new leader someday. But this leader will also love Cuba and really want to take her forward. When that day comes, Emilio and I will be there in any way that we can be of service.
    • Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • He makes me laugh like crazy. We're still kids inside. We're mature and responsible when it comes to business, but we know how to have fun.
    • answer to question "What's the key to your long-lasting marriage with Emilio?"
  • Being a mom is my number one job. My son [Nayib, 27] lives in Los Angeles and he has his own company where he works on music and film projects, but he calls me every day. Emily [who is 12] is very athletic; she plays tennis and basketball. I love going to her games. If she needs help with her home work, I'll sit with her. She also is very musical -- she writes poetry and plays the guitar. I always tell both my kids, "Find what makes you happy. The money will come regardless of what you do, and more or less of it is not going to be what makes you happy. Spending hours at something you enjoy will."
    • Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • I make the best pancakes you'll ever have! And I claim that title gladly. On Saturdays I make them for everybody.
    • Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • I like them in their natural state. They're lilke nuclear lemonades!
    • answer to question "mojitos -- plain or flavored?" Latina Magazine (September, 2007)
  • It's a dream for any artist to have a catalogue of music that would be considered his greatest hits. For me, as a singer and songwriter, to release a collection of music that spans over two decades of my life and career is especially meaningful. Those songs represtent a life in progress. As it is with any life, people and experiences become a part of one's creations and helped give birth to twenty-four albums. I would like to dedicate this body of work -- especially "Nayib's Song" and "Along Came You" -- to my two beautiful children who inspired those songs and who inspire me on a daily basis, and whom I consider my best works to date. I owe a great deal of gratitude to all of my fans who have ridden this incredible rollercoaster of life with me and who are the reason I have tried to remain true to the gift I have been granted: that of making music. And although it's very difficult to decide what is truly essential, you can be sure that what is in this collection is what you -- the fans across the world -- made into hits. And for that, I will be eternally thankful.
    • comment on on release of 2-CD "The Essential Gloria Estefan" (October 4, 2006)
  • Because they were idiots!
    • Analysis of why the big multi-national recording companys did not embrace downloading of songs legally on the Internet for many years. (September 9, 2006)
  • What happened is the music listener has become much more of a connoisseur and a king of his own destiny. You can no longer shove an album down their throats and say, 'Here's 15 songs, four of them are good, you know. Spend 20 dollars on this CD.' It's not going to happen. That's what has taken the music industry down.
    • (September 9, 2006)
  • I've got a producer [for bio pic on singer Connie Francis' life] . . . . We're almost there.
    • Good Morning America radio interview (October 26, 2006)
  • [My husband Emilio] found the last remaining virgin in the '70s -- and that was me.
    • Good Morning America radio interview (October 26, 2006)
  • The secret of a long marriage is shaving your legs every day . . . because it shows you still care.
    • Style Network (December 15, 2006)
  • I do [like being a redhead] . . . I do . . . because lighter is better as you get older . . . It's nice . . . I can't be a blonde. I'm definitely not a blonde . . . So, that doesn't leave too many other colors available.
    • Style Network (December 15, 2006)
  • We're lucky to call Miami and the United States home. What other city can claim to have its own foreign policy? Miami is many things, but it is never boring.
    • comment to audience while headlining concert to open Carnival Center for the Performing Arts (October 6, 2006)
  • How can we expect something positive to come from all the negative that we put into this world?
    • speech at Florida International University, "Live, Art and Spirituality" (October 14, 2006)
  • When [my mother] saw we were not going to be able to go back [to Cuba] it became increasingly important for her to make our culture very prevalent and very important in our lives -- and in our household. We spoke only Spanish. I didn't learn English until I went to school in first grade. And the [Cuban] music and the food was very much a part of our life. I'm glad for that, because it is as well for my children.
    • BBC radio interview (December 13, 2006)
  • "Noelle's Treasure Tale" is based on the historical fact that three Spanish galleons full of treasure sunk off Florida's treasure coast and have never been recovered. I have a beach house on the Treasure Coast, and I'm out there with my snorkel looking for the treasure.
    • comment to audience at book signing at Macy's in New York City (November 21, 2006)
  • [To beginning readers (ages 4 to 8) at a reading of "Noelle's Treasure Tale"]: If you discover a word in my book that you don't understand, ask your parents so they can look it up in the dictionary for you.
    • comment to audience at book signing at Macy's in New York City (Novemeber 21, 2006
  • I thought it would be lovely to use [pet bulldog] Noelle as an example to teach the importance of being who you are. For me it's important to inspire children in a positive way, and at times they understand more messages through entertainment than when one is talking to them directly.
    • comment to The Associated Press regarding publication of her second children's book "Noelle's Treasure Tale" (October 9, 2006)
  • [As of November 17, 2006] 'Noelle's Treasure Tale' has remained at No. 3 on the New York Times children's best seller list since its October 10 release.
    • Reuters (November 17, 2006)
  • I had always thought about a lullaby album. But when Noelle came along, my little Colombian bulldog, she really gave me a plethora of ideas. I remembered when I was little in Texas and I was the only Hispanic in my class. Because the first book was about feelings, how Noelle's weaknesses turned into her strengths. That you have to keep your identity.
    • Reuters (November 17, 2006)
  • The only difference [between promoting a book and a CD] is when I do the readings. My fans are out there in full force, but it's nice to have all the kids there as well. I really love this evolution of writing. Writing is my core, and writing the book was like writing a really long love song. I have 31 pages to elaborate instead of three minutes. And my target audience, although it is children, I don't talk down to them. I want the parents to find it interesting. [Children] sit in my lap. I love it. I've always tried to turn an arena into an intimate setting. So, if I'm already in an intimate setting . . . You get to talk to a few hundred people, and you get to really bring them in, to have an exchange with them that often doesn't occur on the stage.
    • Reuters (November 17, 2006)
  • What do you expect for your $12,000?
    • question at Zo's Summer Groove benefit concert (Miami, July 15, 2006) to winning bidder for Estefan to personally read her first children's book "The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog" at their home
  • Everything's funny for God's sake. Everything.
    • (July 5, 1996)
  • A lot of the people who live here [Miami] are island people -- from Cuba, Haiti. People are very vibrant, and color is important living here. You're inspired every day by the sun, the sky, the landscape, the lushness. [Artist Romero Britto's] painting and artwork reflect that.
    • (February 2, 2007)
  • [I] grew up in this city [Miami], and my music is a blend of two cultures. In the beginning it was heavily Cuban. At this point it's [from] all over . . .
    • The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (February 4, 2007)
  • Neither. I did not bring my crown, and the last thing I would want to do is get into politics.
    • Answer to question regarding whether she is the "Queen" or "mayorette" of Miami, Florida

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (February 4, 2007)

  • [Cuban coffee is] very powerful, very sweet, and a little dangerous —- just like the people who drink it.
    • Entertainment Weekly (30 July 1993)
  • I left Cuba when I was two years old. They took away my country, they stole the most intimate thing a human being can have. How could I forget that Fidel Castro was the person who did me so much harm?
    • "Exito (online newspaper)" (October 1997)
  • My grandfather . . . was a commander in the Cuban army -- not just a Batista [General Fulgencio Batista y Zalduvar was Cuba's 19th president from October, 1938 until January, 1959)] -- but he was a career general there. And he had been through a few of the differenct presidents of Cuba . . . My father became a motorcycle officer. He was a good-looking guy, so he was chosen to be the first lady's [Mrs. Batista's] escort. So they were very close to the government when Batista came in power. And then immediately after [Castro seized power on January 1, 1959] [my father] joined the Bay of Pigs invasion to try to liberate Cuba . . . and he was a political prisoner for two years there [in Cuba].
    • BBC radio interview [December 13, 2006]
  • My mother, my dad and I left Cuba when I was two [January, 1959]. Castro had taken control by then, and life for many ordinary people had become very difficult. My dad had worked [as a personal bodyguard for the wife of Cuban president Batista], so he was a marked man. We moved to Miami, which is about as close to Cuba as you can get without being there. It's a Cuba-centric society. I think a lot of Cubans moved to the US thinking everything would be perfect. Personally, I have to say that those early years were not particularly happy. A lot of people didn't want us around, and I can remember seeing signs that said: "No children. No pets. No Cubans." Things were not made easier by the fact that Dad had begun working for the US government. At the time he couldn't really tell us what he was doing, because it was some sort of top-secret operation. He just said he wanted to fight against what was happening back at home. [Estefan's father was one of the many Cuban exiles taking part in the ill-fated, anti-Castro Bay of Pigs invasion to overthrow dictator Fidel Castro.] One night, Dad disappered. I think he was so worried about telling my mother he was going that he just left her a note. There were rumours something was happening back home, but we didn't really know where Dad had gone. It was a scary time for many Cubans. A lot of men were involved -- lots of families were left without sons and fathers. By the time we found out what my dad had been doing, the attempted coup had taken place, on April 17, 1961. Intitially he'd been training in Central America, but after the coup attempt he was captured and spent the next wo years as a political prisoner in Cuba. That was probably the worst time for my mother and me. Not knowing what was going to happen to Dad. I was only a kid, but I had worked out where my dad was. My mother was trying to keep it a secret, so she used to tell me Dad was on a farm. Of course, I thought that she didn't know what had really happened to him, so I used to keep up the pretence that Dad really was working on a farm. We used to do this whole pretending thing every day, trying to protect each other. Those two years had a terrible effect on my mother. She was very nervous, just going from church to church. Always carrying her rosary beads, praying her little heart out. She had her religion, and I had my music. Music was in our family. My mother was a singer, and on my father's side there was a violinist and a pianist. My grandmother was a poet.
    • The [London] Sunday Times (Novemeber 17, 2006)
  • For fourteen years [1966 to 1980] [my father] suffered a debilitating disease [multiple schlerosis]. I took care of him for most of that time, until he was no longer able to be taken care of at home . . . So, in essence, I was caring for [my father] and my younger sister [Becky], six years younger than I. It was difficult for me. It was a tough time. Music was my escape -- my catharsis. My way of just getting my emotions out. Music has always been a beautiful force in my life.
    • BBC radio interview (December 13, 2006)
  • I'm looking forward, though, one day, if I'm not too old, to do a free concert in a free Cuba. That to me would be fantastic. We're looking forward to it. Well, hopefully, I mean he's [Castro] gotta go [die] sometime. He's gotta go sometime -- let's hope it's sooner [rather] than later.
    • televised interview" (22 April 2005)
  • When I first came to Miami [in 1959], you'd see signs like "No Children, No Pets, No Cubans." We were a major threat. We lived in a very small apartment behind the Orange Bowl, where all the Cubans lived. All the men (including my father, Jose Manuel Fajardo) were political prisoners in Cuba, and it was purely women and their kids. There was one car the whole community bought for $50, and the one lady that could drive would take everybody to the supermarket and the Laundromat.
    • Entertainment Weekly (30 July 1993)
  • I was 16 months old when I left Cuba, so I really don't remember anything [about Cuba].
    • "Roots of Rhythm" (1997 documentary film)
  • I'd lock myself up in my room with my guitar. I wouldn't cry. I was afraid if I let go just a little bit, it would all go. I would sing for hours by myself . . . . It was my way of crying.
    • Entertainment Weekly (30 July 1993)
  • [While her father was a political prisoner in Cuba] I was always singing and dancing and reciting poems -- that was how I used to do my crying over my father. There were a lot of negotiations between the US and Cuban governments over the next couple of years [1961 - 1963]. [Castro proposed an exchange of prisoners for food, medicine and building machinery], and eventually my dad was released. It was wonderful to have him home -- it was probably the happiest time in my life. For once, the whole family was together, living a normal life. That was when my sister, Becky, was born [1964], and it was also when I started guitar lessons. I would lock myself away in my room for days, learning how to play. Even then I was beginning to work out that music was a way to cut throught all the BS.
    • he [London] Sunday Times (November 17, 2006)
  • You know, I don't know about this "Diva thing," O.K. This "Diva thing" is getting a little out of hand, I think. I mean if anything, I'm a divette.
    • VH1 Divas Live
  • I have a twenty-month-old baby [girl], [and] a sixteen-year-old boy— same maturity level.
    • The Evolution Tour: Live in Miami
  • No fighting, Glorias! Gloria Estefan [the real one] to two female impersonators [Gloria #1 and Gloria #2]
    • The Evolution Tour: Live in Miami
  • I bit down three nails rooting for the Heat.
    • comment at Zo's Summer Groove benefit concert in aftermath of Miami Heat winning basketball championship (Miami, July 16, 2006)
  • Those of you who speak only English, applaud [audience applause]. Those of you who speak only Spanish, applaud [audience applause]. [In mock incredulity] Then how do you know what I just said?
    • "trick" question at innumerable concerts— always with the same result
  • Excuse me, you have binoculars in the second row . . . and there're zoom . . . What exactly were you looking at there? . . . Very cute . . . Well, get your money's worth, honey.
    • The Evolution Tour: Live in Miami
  • She [then nine-year-old daughter Emily] grew up with 'The Rhythm is Gonna Get You,' Well . . . It got her!
    • comment September 8, 2004, to concert audience in Washington, D.C. after Emily's drum solo
  • Careful! We don't want anybody getting squished.
    • admonition to dozens of children aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt before reading from her first children's book, "The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog" (September 15, 2006)
  • Not even a bomb scare could keep Gloria Estefan from her fans.
    • comment by Frank Amadeo, president of Estefan Enterprises, Inc. (EEI), after Estefan walked across a gridlocked George Washington Bridge in New York City to appear at a book signing in Ridgeway, New Jersey -- where she was greeted by 1,000 fans (October 18, 2006)

  • Now in addition to being applauded as a five-time Grammy-Award-winning artist, Gloria now has the distinction of being titled a two-time New York Times best-selling author!
    • comment by Frank Amadeo, president of EEI, after Estefan's second children's book, "Noelle's Treasure Tale," debuted in third position on The New York Times children's picture book best seller list for the week of October 29, 2006 (October 18, 2006)

  • [My forthcoming book features] Noelle's experience as a loveable, yet very unconventional looking dog, who must find her way through life in her new adopted home, feeling different and confronting a bevy of clustered animal cliques whose ultimate reluctance to include Noelle in their world is soon offset by Noelle's true, albeit hidden, beauty. [I hope it has] special resonance with the immigrant communities in the United States (primarily of Hispanic heritage) who may, like Noelle, feel they culturally do not, and will not, fit in with a culture so foreign from their own.
    • written statement on December 6, 2004
  • "Noelle's Treasure Tale" [Estefan's second children's book] comes out October 10 [2006]
    • comment to audience at Zo's Summer Groove benefit concert (Miami, July 15, 2006)
  • {Fame has] given me a lot of free love -- and that's the best thing fame can afford you. What has it taken away? My privacy.
    • "Billboard Magazine" (11 October 2003)
  • I majored in Psychology in college. I was going to be a child psychologist.
    • (September 9, 2006)
  • [After college] I was going to study at the Sorbon and become a diplomat. Being a diplomat comes in handy when you are dealing with record companies.
    • interview on Whoppi Goldberg radio program (October 13, 2006)
  • I only used my whole life one perfume: and it's Cartier's Le Must.
    • interview on Rachael Ray show (December 6, 2006)
  • When you are happy it is harder to write [songs].
    • Gayle King XM satellite radio program (October 23, 2006)
  • If I had to take eveything into consideration, [the truly essential song] would have to be "Conga." First, because I don't think I can get away with not performing that song in some shape or form. Second, because it started the possiblility of "Mi Tierra" [Estefan's top-selling Spanish album] happening. Not only did it talk about a specific rhythm of my homeland [Cuba], it talked about being Latino, and the celebratory nature of dance. It was very musically forward in that it mixed a funk bassline and a 2/4 beat on the drums and the Latin percussion. It was something that really put us on the map. And even though it's a frivolous and fun song, it talks about who we are as immigrants in this land.
    • Reuters (November 17, 2006)
  • Dad joined the US Army by this point [1964], and initially he was stationed in Texas and then South Carolina. But the Vietnam war brought our normal life to an end. Once again, Dad was gone. Communications were very basic back then: Dad couldn't just pick up a cellphone and let us know he was okay. Months would go by without a letter or anything. Eventually he bought two tape recorders -- one he kept with him and one for our house. Dad used to talk into the recorder and send the tapes home. Then we would gather round our machine and tell Dad stories. And I would sing. I still have all the tapes, but I can't listen to them. It hurts too much. After Dad came back from Nam, he wasn't well. He'd been poisoned by Agent Orange and needed quite a lot of looking after. Mum was busy trying to get her Cuban qualifications revalidated by a US university, so I had to take care of Dad and my little sister [Becky]. It was tough. Toward the end, Dad was too far gone and he didn't really know what was hapening around him. I joined Miami Sound Machine in 1975 and we were getting quite successful, but Dad didn't even know who I was. He had to be moved to the hospital. On my wedding day in 1978 [September 2] I went to visit him, still wearing my wedding dress. That was the last time that he said my name. Dad died in 1980, but he touches my life every day. On my last album [Unwrapped] I did a lot of writing while I was looking at a picture of him in his younger days -- so happy and in the prime of his life. I'm not sure if he sees me, but I can feel him all around me. I hope he knows that I am so very proud of him.
    • The [London] Sunday Times (November 17, 2006)
  • When I wrote "Words Get in the Way" my husband and I had just had a horrendous argument . . . . [After it was an international hit] My husband said, "We have to have more arguments."
    • Gayle King XM satellite radio program (October 23, 2006)
  • As a writer, I see myself more as a communicator. For me, writing is the best part of my career.
    • "Billboard Magazine" (11 October 2003)
  • I'm signed to release the third book in the series. When they invited me to do the Noelle book I had started on an autobiography, sort of, because I still get a lot of questions about that. I done so much music in my life, and writing is a beautiful outlet to continue to grow.
    • Reuters (November 17, 2006)
  • When I did "Unwrapped" -- that's one of my favorite albums I've ever done in my life -- I love it when someone listens to the whole album. But I would rather them be able to buy some songs that they like, [rather] than not buy the album at all . . . . You can't fight technology. You can't fight, you know, the consumer.
    • (September 9, 2006)
  • I fought my company [Sony] tooth and nail when they stopped putting out singles.
    • (September 9, 2006)
  • For I've finally realized, that I could be infinitely better than before, definitely stronger. I'll face whatever comes my way, I'll savor each moment of the day, Love as many people as I can along the way. Help someone who's given up, even if it's just to raise my eyes and pray.
    • Always Tomorrow
  • Sometimes one bad decision can mess up your life. We seal our fate with the choices we make. But don't give a second thought to the chances we take... Surely, you say, it's not as bad as you make it sound. If we make a mistake, you can always turn it back around. Get back on the straight and narrow -- When I'm through having all my fun . . . We seal our fate with the choices we make . . .
    • Seal Our Fate
  • Why be afraid if I'm not alone? Though life is never easy, the rest is unknown. Up to now, for me, it's been hands aginst stone. Spent each and ev'ry moment, Searching for what to believe. Coming out of the dark, I finally see the light now. And it's shining on me. Coming out of the dark, I know the love that saved me, You're sharing with me. Starting again is part of the plan. And I'll be so much stronger holding your hand. Step by step I'll make it through; I know I can. It may not make it easier, But I have felt you near all the way . . . Forever and ever, I stand on the rock of your love. Love is all it takes, no matter what we face.
    • Coming Out of the Dark
  • I just want to be happy, joyous and free.
    • I Just Wanna be Happy
  • Till I had you I didn't know that I was missing out. Had to grow up and see the world through different shades of doubt. Give me one more chance to dream again. One more chance to feel again through your young heart. If only for one day let me try. I wanna see Christmas through your eyes. I want everything to be the way it used to be. Back to being a child again, thinking the world was mine . . . I see the rain, you see the rainbow hiding in the clouds. Never afraid to let your love show. Won't you show me how. Wanna learn how to believe again. Find the innocence in me again, through your young heart. Help me find a way, help me try. I wanna see Christmas through your eyes. I want everything to be the way it used to be. Back to being a child again, thinking the world was kind. I wanna see Christmas, Christmas through your eyes.
    • Christmas Through Your Eyes
  • I want my Cuba free!
    • English translation of Spanish lyric in Cuba Libre
  • I think I deserve this (honorary) law degree just because I have been sued so much . . . For those of you heading out into the world -- don't be scared, getting sued is the first sign of success. As long as you didn't do anything wrong -- don't worry about it. It's just part of this great country.
    • speech after award of honorary law degree from Barry University (Miami, Florida) (22 May 2002)
  • My friends call me 'Dolittle One' [a reference to her physical stature and affinity for animals].
    • The Book Standard (4 June 2005)
  • I wanted to talk to very young kids about self-image and about being different and how that can be your strength, especially from the immigrant perspective.
    • The Book Standard (4 June 2005)
  • I saved her {pet bulldog Noelle's) life -- and she changed mine. [Noelle is the title character of The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog -- Estefan's first children's book.]
    • The Book Standard (4 June 2005)
  • Just because we're celebrities, we shouldn't get dissed. What people might be complaining about is that they think a lot of these [other] celebrities don't write their own books. But I've written every word in this book -- both in English and in Spanish. I love music and I love children and I love animals, and it's a great combo of all those things.
    • Estefan's response to people who say, "Here goes another celebrity using her name to get published." The New York Daily News (October 30, 2005)
  • [My first children's book] is very subliminal, let's put it that way. It even has a bit of a metaphysical little message in there [about how] we're all somehow connected and we all have a responsibility toward each other. Although you may feel alone in the world, you definitely are not.
    • The New York Daily News (Octover 30, 2005)
  • We [Emilio and I] have diversified: We run four restaurants, a hotel, a recording studio, a publishing company, and we have our corporate offices and a lot of other real estate.
    • Billboard Magazine (11 October 2003)
  • We [Emilio and I] fell in love with the Old World Florida ambience, beautiful beaches and warm people. We discovered Vero Beach when we were looking for a vacation home that was close to Miami but gave us a different feel than what we were used to. We hope to increase the awareness of Vero Beach by hightlighting the many wonderful things that made us fall in love with it. We want the rest of the world to realize what a gem this place is. We hope to welcome our friends from the entertainment world at the opening as well as members of the community. It will be a warm, special and intimate event. We will open our doors the same way that Vero Beach opened its doors to us.
    • comment regarding opening of the Estefans' new luxury hotel,Costa d'Este (East Coast), in Vero Beach, Florida in January of 2008 (June 23, 2007)
  • For 15 years [Miami Sound Machine and I] recorded and toured to establish a fan base. Now it's time for me to enjoy it.
    • People en Espanol (April, 2004)
  • When I began singing 'Conga' athletes from all over the world busted out of formation to dance with me, [and] I thought: 'Wow, what a great choreography!.' I thought it was planned. But then the tower started shaking and I thought: 'Great, first the bus, then the boat, now the tower!'
    • comment after the Olympic Closing Ceremonies in 1996
  • My home is my paradise. When I come home at night, I feel an overall peaceful sensation. We will never give this place up.
    • People en Espanol magazine (April, 2004)
  • Are you kidding me!
    • answer on "The View" television program to question asking if she ever flys economy (December 14, 2005)
  • . . . Latino or Hispanic families are quite matriarchal, if you hadn't noticed -- despite what we let the men believe. Hey, that's the way it goes. The men know it too, but we have to keep that illusion alive for them -- that there're the boss. Hey, I see that strikes a cord. Thank God, the men are applauding too.
    • address to League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) on July 1, 2005
  • And we think the world would benefit from a much more feminine approach to the problems we are facing in the world today. Yes. The world needs to be nurtured and loved and rocked and caressed -- it needs some softness to balance out. And, I think, little by little we'll be able to give it that -- besides strength, because, you know, we have the babies for a reason. Yes, indeed.
    • address to LULAC (July 1, 2005)
  • [My mother] closed the school the next day [after a visit from Castro's soldiers], because she knew that the purpose of education was the broadening and opening of children's minds. And she couldn't be a party to the systematic closing of minds, borders, freedoms and ideals.
    • address to LULAC (July 1, 2005)
  • But, I'm sure you weren't aware of the dream that was born in me when I was small . . . Well, let me rephrase that -- when I was young -- because, technically, I'm still very small. And I get this from everybody when they meet me: 'You're so tiny.' I guess I am. I don't feel any height, but, apparently, I am not that big.
    • address to LULAC (July 1, 2005)
  • I dreamed of becoming a writer. And . . . this dream is about to become a reality with the publication of my first, and hopefully not my last, children's book . . .
    • address to LULAC (July 1, 2005)
  • And, because of the life that I shared with these two amazing women [her mother and maternal grandmother] and the hardships and struggles that I saw them overcome, I learned an invaluable lesson: and that is that women can do anything we set our minds to . . . and then some!
    • address to LULAC (July 1, 2005)
  • I wrote these two songs ["Coming Out of the Dark" and "Always Tomorrow"] as a celebration of hope. And, I want to send it out to all of those people who are suffering through this terrible disaster [Hurricane Katrina], and please know that you are not alone -- and you will not be.
    • Larry King Live television program (September 9, 2005)
  • The separation of families to me is very close to my heart because we lived that as immigrants. I strongly feel that we all connected, and having felt people's love and support first-hand through difficult moments in my life, makes me feel it's our responsibility to help one another. I am privileged to help in some way, and I will always take that opportunity.
    • comment to The Associated Press (September 10, 2005) as she prepared to lead a contingent of Hispanic-American entertainers on a humanitarian mission to Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana and Mississippi
  • Toys are not a need people typically think of, but they've got all these kids who have absolutely nothing to do.
    • comment to USA Today newspaper (September 15, 2005) explaining why she, Emilio and other prominent Hispanic entertainers personally delivered a planeload of toys and other aid to three shelters with Hurricane Katrina victims
  • We wanted to not just have a presence there [areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina] and raise awareness in the Hispanic community -- and anyone else who might be watching -- but leave them a little better than when we got there.
    • comment to NBC6 television {Miami} as she boarded plane on relief mission
  • We want the disaster victims to know we have not forgotten them. I'm here with help.
    • comment about Hurricane Katrina relief effort on September 12, 2005
  • We took portable showers, Pampers and clothes for kids [in a Hurricane Katrina shelter]. I sang for them and played the guitar . . . At least for a little while, they saw that someone wasn't forgetting them. It lifted their spirits, and I knew they were a little more comfortable when we left.
    • (October 5, 2005)
  • Everyone is helping each other out. That's what we do . . . . You know what happens? Infrastructure might not come through -- but people do come through. We all try to do our best. I know we just got power back in one of our restuarants, and I know there are a lot of people without power. So, we invited a thousand people with children to come over and have a hot lunch on us.
    • comment in aftermath of Hurricane Wilma (CNN's Showbiz Tonight-October 27, 2005)
  • My foundation trys to help people that fall through the cracks, [people] that can't get help from big organizations . . . . We try to fill in where [other] people don't help out.
    • CNN's Showbiz Tonight (October 27, 2005)
  • I overheard backstage . . . Did someone just auction off Emilio and me? That was scary!
    • comment to audience at "Miami Rocks for [Hurricane Katrina] Relief" concert on September 30, 2005
  • I'm a writer. I've written most of the music we've performed. Most people don't know that because no one cares who writes the music. But, that's who I am. I've written poetry since I was a little girl. Music was an evolution of that.
    • (October 5, 2005)
  • If Michael Jackson could write a song for a rat, I could write a song for [my pet bulldog] Noelle.
    • (December 14, 2005)
  • I've been offered a lot of things that celebrities do that I wouldn't do -- like perfumes, lines of clothing and this that and the other. But this [children's book] is right up my alley.
    • Reuters News Agency (October 10, 2005)
  • I've bought more music for my Ipod in one year than I bought in the last ten years of my life.
    • (September 9, 2006)
  • I'm a writer and this is what I love to do. There's no reason that just because you're a celebrity, you can't write.
    • Reuters News Agency (October 10, 2005)
  • I'd like them to see that those things that set us apart or make us different can be wonderful contributions to the world around us. I'd like them to see that size and color are irrelevant to the dreams we envision for ourselves. And I'd also love for them to see that life is a journey, and every step of the way, we can learn something and become stronger and wiser.
    • answer to what she would like young readers to take away after reading her first children's book -- quote from Latina Magazine (October 2005)
  • I can tell you I wrote every single word in this [her first children's] book -- in English and Spanish. I've been writing poetry and stories since I was a kid. And I am a songwriter. But you have limitations when you are a songwriter . . . . It was really a luxury to have 31 pages to expound upon.
    • The Chicago Tribune (October 16, 2005)
  • I totally animal-oriented. I've got nine dogs, eight birds, turtles, fish -- and I had wallabies at one point.
    • Reuters News Agency (October 10, 2005)
  • The script [for the movie based on the life of singer Connie Francis -- "Who's Sorry Now?"] is finished and is in the hands of several artists to see if somebody wants to film at the start of [2006].
    • (December 9, 2005)
  • However long we live here, however much I feel at home in Miami, I -- like everyone else -- am an exile, an exile who cannot go home.
    • (May 15, 2000)
  • We spent all our time lighting candles in the churches and praying for father's safe return. But even then [1961 and 1962], as a little girl, I knew that he was really in prison and that God had nothing to do with it. Since then I have never had any belief in religion.
    • (May 15, 2000)
  • I spent my childhood alone, overweight and ugly, angry at everything, and knowing nothing of a life beyond this sadness.
    • (May 15, 2000)
  • . . . My best friend [as a young girl] made this mole on my face, because she would get in a fight with me and scratch me -- by the third time the scab came off the [mole] was there . . .
    • Hallmark Channel's This Morning with Naomi Judd (January 29, 2006)
  • [After the 1990 bus accident] I could not feel my legs, and I knew that I was paralysed. For me, this was a premonition of my worst fate proved right. When I was a child, I always ran up the stairs two at a time, and when I reached the top I would say to myself, one day I won't be able to do this because like my father I will lose the use of my body. Now I knew it had happened. For months afterwards I was locked back in myself, just as I had been when I was a child. But also part of my premonition had always been, strangely, that I would lose my body but in the end it would be all right.
    • (May 15, 2000}
  • I have had a life in which I have had to face every big fear, and it has not been pleasant.
    • (May 15, 2000)
  • I received an award for 25 million in [album] sales the night before the bus accident [in 1990].
    • Gayle King XM satellite radio program (October 23, 2006)
  • [After a poor prognosis for recovery from her doctor following her 1990 bus accident] I said if it is up to me, I'm going to be OK.
    • Gayle King XM satellite radio program (October 23, 2006)
  • More than anything I want to be able to go back to Cuba, to have a house to visit there, to know my roots. I lost my father as a little girl, and I want to be able to find him again in my heritage.
    • (May 15, 2000)
  • Then [after Castro dies and her triumphal return to Havana], at last, I could sing for my people.
    • (May 15, 2000)
  • Having experience paralysis firsthand -- sixteen years ago -- I feel especially fortunate to have had a positive outcome despite a very negative prognosis. I vowed that I would do whatever was in my power to assist those already on their way to finding a cure. I urge anyone in a position to help to join us in taking on this challenge, knowing that we are closer than ever to a cure and to helping those that live in wheelchairs to "get on their feet."
    • comment at ceremony to honor million dollar donation from Gloria and Emilio Estefan to The Miammi Project to Cure Paralysis Human Clinical Trials Program
  • It is always hard to hear people say such nice things about us, because quite honestly I feel very privileged and honored to be of service in any way I can. I think that is my mission here on earth in some way -- whether it is entertaining people or trying to help in whatever way I can. So [the attention and acclaim] is pretty embarrassing to me.
    • comment at ceremony to honor million dollar donation from Gloria and Emilio Estefan to The Miamia Project to Cure Paralysis Human Clinical Trials Program
  • There are singers who can captivate a community. There are vocalists whose sound can penetrate deeply into your soul. There are entertainers who can mesmerize, enlighten and entertain, all in one breath. [And there is] Gloria Estefan -- who does it all, effortlessly.
    • (March of 2003)
  • Once again [with the CD "Unwrapped"], Gloria's mission is accomplished. As an entertainer, a vocalist and a writer, she has invited the world into her heart. The result is nothing short of incomparable.
    • (March of 2003)
  • Gloria Estefan is going to be here. She writes these books about her dog, Noelle . . . and she also dances and sings well, too.
    • Gretchen Carlson, anchor of Fox and Friends television program (October 12, 2006)
  • Of course in Miami, not denouncing Fidel Castro at every turn is almost as bad as saying Gloria Estefan can't sing.
    • (October 19, 2006)
  • I had the greatest pleasure of listening to Gloria Estefan's lecture on "Life, Art and Spirituality" at the Graham Center of Florida International University today. It was a great experieince. She is such a wonderful, amazing woman, and a great inspiration. I believe that everyone who attended her lecture today was blown away by her sincerity, kind words and her sense of humor . . . yes, because even in the darkest days of her life, there was a little room for humor. She spoke of the power of prayer, and how different this world would be if we were to stop the violence, and the hating, and the wars between us.
    • comment from audience member at Esteran's address at Florida International University (November 14, 2006)
  • There are certain people in our business that are known as ladies, that are known to be classy and intelligent . . . I found out that [Gloria is] all of the above.
    • comments by singer Naomi Judd, Hallmark Channel (January 29, 2006)
  • It is always so, I guess, validating when you meet somebody that you esteem -- and then they turn out to be everything [you thought] and more.
    • comments by singer Naomi Judd, Hallmark Channel (January 29, 2006)
  • Darling, you look like a religious icon there [in her high school graduation picture].
    • comment by Isaac, host of Style Network fashion program (December 15, 2006)
  • I love Gloria Estefan, though -- she is cool. It's always just been about the music with her and they've been really good fun pop songs and really great ballads. And she's still going strong. She's quite classy and true to her Latin roots.
    • comments by Welsh singer Charlotte Church, BBC online news (September 26, 2005)
  • Gloria Estefan was a huge influence for me. Of course, she was one of the few Latina women around who had this major international success. She sang in Spanish and English, and she was very much the sort of woman I recognised from my culture. I go to her home, and I think that she is a woman who has got it just right. She has her music, she has her family, she has her relationship. I admire her so much because she has always put her family before everything. All her priorities are in place and she is still an amazingly creative artist.
    • comment by "close friend" Jennifer Lopez, (March 30, 2007)
  • The United States stands tall, representing a parade of nations, 300 million strong. That number will grow during today's citizenship ceremony, featuring the national anthem performed by pop star Gloria Estefan. She captures the essence of what makes this country so great: Ms. Estefan arrived from Cuba as a 2-year-old and would eventually chase her amitions of becoming a singer. She would incorporate salsa into mainstream American music, reflecting the true meaning of this country as a melting pot.
    • editorial on (July 5, 2007)
  • You've got a new Spanish-language album out now ["90 Millas," released in September of 2007], and the single ["No Llores"] is #1 on the Billboard Latin chart.
    • Al Roker on the "Today Show" television program (July 25, 2007)
  • Getting this caliber of musicians together [for "90 Millas" CD in September of 2007] is almost impossible to do again.
    • Emilio Estefan, Reuters (July 23, 2007)
  • [The hardest thing about '90 Millas' was the concept of] combining the old and the new without losing the authenticity. The simple solution, of course, would have been to record covers. [But] emotionally it wouldn't have been the same We left Cuba as children: Gloria was 1, I was 14. So, there ia a part that does exist in nostalgia, but a the same [time] there is another part that is contemporary music that we've made all over the world.
    • Emilio Estefan, Reuters (July 23, 2007)

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File:Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan was born Gloria Fajardo in September 1957 in Havana, Cuba. She is a singer-songwriter and has won multiple Grammy Awards. Gloria is Cuban American.

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