Gloria Estefan was born on 1st September 1957 in, Havana, Cuba.She is early years were not easy. Her father Jose was among the Cuban exiles who participated in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, the unsuccessful attempt to oust Castro from power. Jose spent a year and a half in a Cuban prison, and during this time Gloria and her mother lived in a Cuban ghetto near the Orange Bowl in Miami.
Misfortune continued to follow her dad. He was badly poisoned by the defoliant, Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. When her mother went out to make a living, Gloria had to act as nurse and tend to her invalid father. Her one source of comfort was the guitar she had been given when she was 12. She would sing to herself the Top 40 tunes of the day, alone in her room for hours on end.
In 1975, at the urging of her mother, Gloria sang some songs at a wedding which was being entertained by a local party band, The Miami Latin Boys. The band leader, Emilio Estefan, was so impressed by her smooth alto voice that he hounded her to join his band. She reluctantly agreed, but only to sing on weekends. No longer all boys, the band was rechristened The Miami Sound Machine.
She needed 400 stiches to close the 14-inch incision. But within one year of the accident she was performing on stage again. During that time of excruciating pain, Gloria received thousands of letters, telegrams and floral arrangements from well wishers. In 1992 she was able to return the favor by organizing a benefit concert (Hurricane Relief) which raised three million dollars for the victims of Hurricane Andrew.