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More than a decade before the Latin music explosion of the 90's, Gloria Estefan was selling records and had millions of fans buying tickets to her concerts. From Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez to Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias, many of today's artists have Gloria Estefan to thank.
Gloria Estefan was born Gloria Fajardo on September 1, 1957, in Havana, Cuba. Her father, a former bodyguard of the Cuban president, took his family and fled the island when Estefan was only a young girl. They found a home in Miami, FL, and it was there that Gloria Estefan found her early success in music and love. She and her cousin auditioned for the group Miami Latin Boys in 1975, a band headed by keyboardist Emilio Estefan, who she would wed just a few years later. When Gloria Estefan joined the group, they were renamed the Miami Sound Machine and went from performing at weddings to recording their own original music. From 1977 to 1984, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine released eight studio albums, none of which managed to crack the US Billboard charts. It was Primitive Love (1985) that was the launching point for Estefan, reaching #23 on the Billboard 200. The album featured the singles "Conga," "Bad Boy" and "Words Get in the Way," all of which reached the Top Ten.
In 1989, Gloria Estefan began her career as a solo artist (the Miami Sound Machine continued to back her) and found immediate success. Her first two solo studio albums, Cuts Both Ways (1989) and Into the Light (1991), both were Top Ten albums. She has since released eight more studio albums, with Mi Tierra (1993), Alma Cariberia (2000) and 90 Millas (2007) all reaching #1 on the US Latin charts.