Gloria Estefan Quotes

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About Gloria Estefan

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

Born: September 1st, 1957

Categories: Musicians

Quotes: 195 sourced quotes total

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Words (count)614 - 477
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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."
I never stop learning.
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."
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.
Gloria Estefan
• comment from audience member at Esteran's address at Florida International University (November 14, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
No fighting, Glorias! Gloria Estefan [the real one] to two female impersonators [Gloria #1 and Gloria #2]
Because they were idiots!
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
Are you kidding me!
Gloria Estefan
• answer on "The View" television program to question asking if she ever flys economy (December 14, 2005)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
[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?
[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.
A woman's exterior beauty is a reflection of her internal peace and happiness.
Darling, you look like a religious icon there [in her high school graduation picture].
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.
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.
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 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?
[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.
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.
[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.
I want my Cuba free!
I was a straight-A student, baby!
Gloria Estefan
• Estefan, laughing, as she confirmed a reporter's observation that "she is good at whatever she studies." (August 12, 2008)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
Everything's funny for God's sake. Everything.
What do you expect for your $12,000?
Gloria Estefan
• 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
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
Careful! We don't want anybody getting squished.
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
I'm happy and I have a great life.
I'm never going to stop making music. I couldn't.
I bit down three nails rooting for the Heat.
Gloria Estefan
• comment at Zo's Summer Groove benefit concert in aftermath of Miami Heat winning basketball championship (Miami, July 16, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
I just want to be happy, joyous and free.
My Conga people [fans] will find me anywhere I go.
When you are happy it is harder to write [songs].
I like them in their natural state. They're lilke nuclear lemonades!
The most beautiful thing about music is that it transcends most anything.
We do have the power to save one another . . .
Not even a bomb scare could keep Gloria Estefan from her fans.
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
"Noelle's Treasure Tale" [Estefan's second children's book] comes out October 10 [2006]
I have a twenty-month-old baby [girl], [and] a sixteen-year-old boy— same maturity level.
I only used my whole life one perfume: and it's Cartier's Le Must.
I majored in Psychology in college. I was going to be a child psychologist.
I fought my company [Sony] tooth and nail when they stopped putting out singles.
[My husband Emilio] found the last remaining virgin in the '70s -- and that was me.
My friends call me 'Dolittle One' [a reference to her physical stature and affinity for animals].
We want the disaster victims to know we have not forgotten them. I'm here with help.
I was 16 months old when I left Cuba, so I really don't remember anything [about Cuba].
I overheard backstage . . . Did someone just auction off Emilio and me? That was scary!
Gloria Estefan
• comment to audience at "Miami Rocks for [Hurricane Katrina] Relief" concert on September 30, 2005
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
I cannot imagine a world without music. It would be . . . well, I cannot imagine it.
How can we expect something positive to come from all the negative that we put into this world?
I received an award for 25 million in [album] sales the night before the bus accident [in 1990].
Then [after Castro dies and her triumphal return to Havana], at last, I could sing for my people.
What I wanted to be on this album ["90 Millas"] is me, with everything I have experienced so far.
I've got a producer [for bio pic on singer Connie Francis' life] . . . . We're almost there.
[Cuban coffee is] very powerful, very sweet, and a little dangerous —- just like the people who drink it.
I totally animal-oriented. I've got nine dogs, eight birds, turtles, fish -- and I had wallabies at one point.
Neither. I did not bring my crown, and the last thing I would want to do is get into politics.
Gloria Estefan
• Answer to question regarding whether she is the "Queen" or "mayorette" of Miami, Florida The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (February 4, 2007)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
As a writer, I see myself more as a communicator. For me, writing is the best part of my career.
If Michael Jackson could write a song for a rat, I could write a song for [my pet bulldog] Noelle.
I spent my childhood alone, overweight and ugly, angry at everything, and knowing nothing of a life beyond this sadness.
Getting this caliber of musicians together [for "90 Millas" CD in September of 2007] is almost impossible to do again.
The last thing I wanted to do was put politics into my music . . . because music was my escape.
I make the best pancakes you'll ever have! And I claim that title gladly. On Saturdays I make them for everybody.
The secret of a long marriage is shaving your legs every day . . . because it shows you still care.
She [then nine-year-old daughter Emily] grew up with 'The Rhythm is Gonna Get You,' Well . . . It got her!
Toys are not a need people typically think of, but they've got all these kids who have absolutely nothing to do.
Gloria Estefan
• 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
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
I've bought more music for my Ipod in one year than I bought in the last ten years of my life.
I have had a life in which I have had to face every big fear, and it has not been pleasant.
Of course in Miami, not denouncing Fidel Castro at every turn is almost as bad as saying Gloria Estefan can't sing.
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.
All of us know the true meaning of freedom. Some of us appreciate it more than those who have been here for many generations.
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.
My home is my paradise. When I come home at night, I feel an overall peaceful sensation. We will never give this place up.
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.
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!
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
{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.
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.
Gloria Estefan is going to be here. She writes these books about her dog, Noelle . . . and she also dances and sings well, too.
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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• answer to question "How does it feel to be declared persona non grata by your own country?" (November 25, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
Gloria Estefan
• comment to audience while headlining concert to open Carnival Center for the Performing Arts (October 6, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.]
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.
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.
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?
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.
Gloria Estefan
• statement issued regarding appointment to board of directors of Univision Communications, (June 9, 2007)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
[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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• -- exerpt from Burgundy Records announcement of '90 Millas' (August 10, 2007)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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 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].
[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.
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.
[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
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.
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.
. . . 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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
"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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• comment to The Associated Press regarding publication of her second children's book "Noelle's Treasure Tale" (October 9, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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!'
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.
Gloria Estefan
• answer to question "Do you inject politics into your music?" (Nobember 25, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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!
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.
Gloria Estefan
• answer to question "How different is your music now from what it was 20 years ago?" (November 25, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• speech after award of honorary law degree from Barry University (Miami, Florida) (22 May 2002)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
. . . 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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
Gloria Estefan
• 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
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• comment at ceremony to honor million dollar donation from Gloria and Emilio Estefan to The Miamia Project to Cure Paralysis Human Clinical Trials Program
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
[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].
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• answer to what she would like young readers to take away after reading her first children's book -- quote from Latina Magazine (October 2005)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
Gloria Estefan
• commencement address to 2007 graduating class at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA
• (May 13, 2007)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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 . . .
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."
Gloria Estefan
• comment at ceremony to honor million dollar donation from Gloria and Emilio Estefan to The Miammi Project to Cure Paralysis Human Clinical Trials Program
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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 Estefan
• Gloria and Emilio Estefan's Statement Regarding her forthcoming CD "90 Millas" (March 28, 2007)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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."
Gloria Estefan
• answer to question "The title of your new album is "The Essential Gloria Estefan. What is the essential Gloria Estefan?" (November 25, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
Gloria Estefan
• answer to the question "How do you reinvent yourself through the years?" (November 25, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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].
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.
Gloria Estefan
• answer to question "How do you maintain your clean image, something not every artist can do?" (November 25, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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].
[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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• comment on on release of 2-CD "The Essential Gloria Estefan" (October 4, 2006)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
'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.
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.
Gloria Estefan
• 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)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Gloria Estefan" (Sourced)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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