Gloria Estefan, the woman behind hit songs in English and Spanish, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on Thursday.
Estefan, who was born in Havana, Cuba, is the first Hispanic woman to be included in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The induction is the latest honor in Estefan’s decades-long career.
She is the second best-selling female Latin artist in history and was named one of the Top 100 greatest artists of all time by VH1 and Billboard. In her hometown of Miami, though, she’s best known for her iconic song catalog, which has been blasted at family cookouts, weddings and brunches for years. Her songwriting credits include “Let’s Get Loud,” “Coming Out Of The Dark” and “Get On Your Feet.”
During her speech at the induction ceremony, Estefan said the honor fulfilled a dream “that I hadn’t even dared to dream.” “I’ve been incredibly blessed with some pretty cool honors, but i have to admit, this is a big one for me,” said Estefan, who has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Kennedy Center Honor. “To be counted among this incredible group of inductees — who I so admire and am a huge fan of each and every one — makes this honor that much more special.” And her accolades are vast.
She has won several Grammys, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and a National Artistic Achievement Award from Congress. In 2015, “On Your Feet!,” a jukebox musical about her life, premiered on Broadway. That same year, she and her husband were awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2017, she became the first Cuban-American and fourth Latina to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. She even has her own Barbie doll.
But as a songwriter, Estefan said in a January interview with CBS Miami, being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame is “the biggest honor.” Her fellow inductees this year include Snoop Dogg, Sade and the band members of Blondie. “To me, it’s all about the songwriters. Those are the people who got me through my toughest times,” she said. “I would pore over their lyrics and read all the credits. They got me through some very tough moments in my life, so for my music to be able to impact people in that way is just amazing.”
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