The Essential Gloria Estefan: First 2-CD Collection to Span her Entire Career, From Miami Sound Machine in 1984 to Most Recent Unwrapped Album in 2003
37 Hit Singles and Album Tracks, Special Remixes and Edits - Disc One Uptempo Dance Tracks, Disc Two Ballads
Second children's book, Noelle's Treasure Tale, to be released on October 10th
Latest addition to Essential 2-CD series arrives in stores October 3, 2006
Two decades of signature U.S. and international hits by the five-time Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, producer, novelist, actor, and philanthropist who is regarded as the primary force behind today's English language Latin pop crossover success, are gathered for the first time on THE ESSENTIAL GLORIA ESTEFAN. The two-CD collection, containing 37 songs will arrive in stores October 3rd on Epic/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
The release of THE ESSENTIAL GLORIA ESTEFAN anticipates the October 10th arrival of her second children's book, Noelle's Treasure Tale: A New Magically Mysterious Adventure (Rayo/HarperCollins, illustrated by Michael Garland). It is the sequel to last year's Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog, which was a major hit on the New York Times best-seller list for Children's Books.
Few (if any) contemporary artists possess the body of work that can be divided between one entire disc of uptempo dance club and remix material and a second CD of ballads -- but that is the case with THE ESSENTIAL GLORIA ESTEFAN. Spanning the years 1984-85, when the Big Bang of Latin pop crossover began with the first two English language LPs by Miami Sound Machine -- Eyes Of Innocence with "Dr. Beat" and Primitive Love with "Conga" -- all the way through her most recent English language album, 2003's Unwrapped, the non-chronological collection shuffles the chapters of Gloria Estefan's musical life with bravura and finesse.
Gloria Estefan, who has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and has accumulated honors ranging from the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement and the National Music Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year, to the MTV VMA and Cable ACE Award, with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame and two honors from the Songwriters Hall of Fame -- among many other prestigious awards -- is an American role model known around the world. The Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor that she received in 1993, the highest honor that can be given to a naturalized U.S. citizen, is a symbol of the esteem in which she is held and an indication of how far she has come since arriving on these shores in early 1959, at just 16 months old.
Born in Havana, Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo Garcia was raised primarily in Miami, where she attended University of Miami, eventually graduating in 1978 with a degree in Communications and Psychology (and a minor in French). Early in college, in the fall of 1975, she was invited to sing at a large Cuban wedding, backed by a local band called the Miami Latin Boys led by Emilio Estefan, Jr. In just a few weeks, Gloria signed on as a full-time member.
The group developed their style and original material over the next two years, and changed their name to Miami Sound Machine. They released their first LP on the Miami-based CBS Discos in 1977, the first of seven Spanish language albums they recorded over the next seven years. Gloria and Emilio were married in 1978, and their son Nayib was born two years later. MSM gathered a huge fan base and Emilio was able to persuade the bigger CBS International division to release the band's first English language LP via Epic Records.
The result was 1984's Eyes Of Innocence, whose first single "Dr. Beat" broke the Billboard Dance chart Top 20 in the U.S., hit the Top 10 on the U.K. national chart, and topped many Euro Dance charts. Produced by Emilio, it was an auspicious start that was followed up the next year by Primitive Love, MSM's first U.S. chart album. It spun off an amazing four hits spanning 70 weeks on the Hot 100 from 1985-87, starting with the Top 10 "Conga," the band's first U.S. pop hit and unofficial "theme," as the liner notes point out, and the only track in history to appear on Billboard's pop, Latin, R&B and Dance charts at the same time. Then came "Bad Boy" (a second Top 10 pop, R&B, Dance and AC cross over hit), "Words Get In The Way" (a #2 AC crossover ballad), and "Falling In Love (Uh-Oh)." The album rose to triple-platinum during its year and a half stay on the chart.
1987: The cover of the new album, Let It Loose, proclaimed 'Gloria Estefan And Miami Sound Machine,' as if fans didn't know already. This time the ante was raised to a phenomenal five hits spanning 72 weeks on the Hot 100 over the course of '87-'88, four of which are included on this collection: "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Can't Stay Away From You" (their first #1 AC hit), "Anything For You" (their first #1 on the Hot 100), and "1-2-3" (another #1 at AC). A second consecutive triple-platinum seller, the album spent nearly two years (97 weeks) on the chart. Boosted by vigorous touring overseas, the album hit #1 in several countries around the world (including England, Holland, Canada, and Australia), establishing Gloria as a bonafide international superstar.
1989: At Emilio's urging (reportedly thinking ahead to his wife winning a Grammy under her own name), the act became 'Gloria Estefan' as a solo artist, though MSM (with changing personnel) has always continued to be her backup band. The title of the new album, Cuts Both Ways, was a multi-entendre reflecting her outreach to English and Spanish language audiences. Once again, the album spun off five hits spanning 65 weeks on the Hot 100 during 1989-90, starting with the #1 "Don't Wanna Lose You," "Get On Your Feet," "Here We Are," "Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)," and the title tune, "Cuts Both Ways" (#1 at AC).
This was their third triple-platinum album in a row for Epic, but as the touring moved into early 1990, near-tragedy struck. On March 20th, on a road outside Scranton, PA, a speeding tractor trailer truck crashed into the rear of Gloria's tour bus while she slept, leaving her critically injured, her back broken. She was air-evac'd to New York City where two titanium rods were implanted to stabilize her spinal column.
1991: After almost a year of intense physical therapy, Gloria managed a miraculous recovery. Her comeback was celebrated on a new single, "Coming Out Of The Dark" (co-written with Jon Secada), which she courageously performed at the American Music Awards in January. Her aptly titled new album, Into The Light was released a few weeks later in February. In addition to the follow-up singles "Seal Our Fate" and "Live For Loving You," it contained the tender dedication, "Nayib's Song (I Am Here For You)." Gloria's 100-city Into the Light World Tour of 1991-92, which introduced Secada on backup vocals, was attended by more than 10 million people in nine countries worldwide.
1992: Gloria and Emilio earned some breathing room with the richly deserved Greatest Hits that covered the previous seven years. The package wisely contained four newly recorded tracks including the new singles "Always Tomorrow" (whose royalties benefited the victims of Hurricane Andrew that hit south Florida in August), "I See Your Smile" (co-written by Secada), and the dance hit "Go Away." The album struck 4-times platinum and spent 77 weeks on the chart, the longest stay of any of Gloria's solo albums.
1993: In the wake of the critical acclaim heaped on Linda Ronstadt's Grammy-winning Mas Canciones in 1991, Gloria also evoked her own Cuban ancestry with the Spanish language Mi Tierra, whose title tune was a #1 Latin hit (also included here from that album is "Si Senor!..."). Certified platinum in the U.S., it sold more than 8 million copies worldwide and won Gloria her first Grammy Award, for Best Tropical Latin Album.
1994: A second 'concept' album followed, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, this one a collection of cover tunes that appealed to Gloria and Emilio. In addition to the title tune made famous by Mel Carter, the double-platinum album contained two new singles -- the RIAA gold #1 Dance chart remake of Vicki Sue Robinson's "Turn The Beat Around," and a remake of "Everlasting Love" (via Carl Carlton) that was also featured on the sound track album of Sylvester Stallone's Miami-based movie The Specialist, the first album on Gloria and Emilio's new Crescent Moon/Epic label imprint. The year closed out with the birth of daughter Emily Marie in December, later celebrated on "Along Came You (A Song For Emily)" from 1996's Destiny album.
1995: Unlike its predecessor, Mi Tierra, which focused on the music of Cuba, Gloria's second Spanish language album in the U.S. in as many years, Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors), covered music from all over Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. It won Gloria her second Grammy Award, for Best Tropical Latin Performance.
1996: The mid-June release of the new album Destiny was preceded by the April release of "Reach" (co-written with Diane Warren), chosen as one of the themes of the Games of the XXVI Olympiad (aka the Centennial Olympics) in Atlanta. Gloria's Evolution World Tour, her first touring since 1992, opened July 18th, one day before the Olympics; on August 4th, she sang at the closing ceremonies to a worldwide audience of more than two billion people. Subsequent singles from the album, "You'll Be Mine (Party Time)" and "I'm Not Giving You Up" charted well into the next year.
1998: A purposeful return to her Dance-pop roots characterized the Gloria! album which delivered three solid Club hits: "Oye" (#1 Dance and #1 Latin, heard here in the 'Pablo Flores English Remix Radio Edit'), "Don't Let This Moment End," and "Heaven's What I Feel." The latter was the centerpiece of her 15-minute set at the first VH1 Divas Live benefit concert extravaganza at New York's Beacon Theatre in April, which was captured in its entirety on the Sony Music album released six months later.
1999: The year built up to the autumn release of the Miramax feature film, Wes Craven's Music Of The Heart, starring Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Aidan Quinn, and in her acting debut, Gloria Estefan. For good measure, Gloria dueted with *NSYNC on the movie soundtrack album's title tune single, "Music Of My Heart," written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster, which handily hit #2 on the Hot 100 and earned an Academy Award nomination
2000: Gloria's third Spanish language album in the U.S., Alma Caribena (Caribbean Soul) climaxed with "No Me Dejes De Querer" ("Don't Stop Loving Me") as its closing track, which hit #1 on the Latin chart. The album was doubly blessed, winning the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album, and the first Latin Grammy for Best Music Video for "No Me Dejes de Querer."
2001: Nearly a decade since Gloria's first Greatest Hits, 2001's Vol. II updated her work in the '90s and was filled with many non-album rarities. One of these was the album debut of the classic ballad "If We Were Lovers," the English language version of "Con Los Anos Que Me Quedan," as originally heard on the Mi Tierra album.
2003: Unwrapped (Gloria's most recent English language studio album to date), released in September, spun off the #23 AC single, "Wrapped," whose exotic video was shot in Machu Picchu, Peru. Later on, in July 2004, she returned to the road for the first time in eight years, the Live and Re-Wrapped Tour, which she announced would be her final outing. The 28-city tour ran from July through October, with a two night grand finale in Miami.
"Certainly," the liner notes conclude, "the story of Gloria's career is not at the end, but this collection gives us a chance to look back over two decades of hit songs -- and although a truly essential collection would require many more discs, this set pays tribute to a singer/songwriter who has achieved so much without ever compromising her integrity as an artist."Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060130/LEGACYLOGO
SOURCE: Legacy Recordings
CONTACT: Tom Cording of Legacy Media Relations, +1-212-833-4448,
Web site: http://www.legacyrecordings.com/