Gloria Estefan Pictures

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On September 1, 1957, Gloria Maria Fajardo was born in Havana, Cuba. At age two, she moved to Miami with her family when her family was forced to flee from the Castro government of Cuba. Life as a child was not easy for the "Queen of Latin Pop". Her father, Jose, was involved in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and spent 18 months in prison, while Gloria and her mother lived in a ghetto.

Gloria was admitted to the University of Miami (on partial scholarship) in 1975, with hopes of pursuing a career in psychology. Although she was passionate about music, she was incredibly shy and had no interest in being in the spotlight. Despite her bashfulness, she was encouraged to become an accompanist and occasional lead singer of a local Cuban-American group called the Miami Latin Boys.

Her first effort as a musician was the Latin pop group Miami Sound Machine, later to be known as Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine. This group had many hits, but in 89' Estefan decided to make her own solo album, Cuts Both Ways.

In 90', her and her group's career were postponed because of a bus accident injuring the members of the group and breaking Estefan's vertebra. After successful surgery Estefan bounced back with Into the Light in 91'.

Since she has made many successful Latin and American albums, some of the more recent productions including 20th Anniversary in 1999 and Alma Caribena-Caribbean Soul in 2000. Estefan was a pioneer of Latin pop music and has influenced many of today's newest artists.

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