In 1968, Estefan moved to the United States, where he shared an apartment with 15 family members. He earned a living by running errands for neighbors, using an old car.
Estefan then began to work at local beauty contests, and at Bacardi, where he was employed as a mailroom worker. He later was promoted to the company’s Latin marketing department.
Estefan’s real passion, however, remained with music. He started a group which became known as the “Miami Latin Boys”. The group had success, being hired to play at multiple private parties and events around Miami. It was during one such event in 1975 that Emilio met Gloria Estefan, then Gloria Fajardo. He asked her to join their group, and the group was renamed “Miami Sound Machine”. In 1977, Gloria decided to join the band. In the band, Miami Sound Machine, Emilio played the accordion.
By the early 1980s, the group, which also included Cristina Saralegui’s future husband Marcos Avila, had become a major international band, with such songs as “Get on Your Feet” and “Conga” becoming number one hits in many countries. The group’s success came after Emilio had signed them to an exclusive contract with CBS Records.
In 1989, Gloria Estefan took sole credit in the billing for her work, and although the ever-changing line up of Miami Sound Machine continued to back her, Estéfan took this opportunity to concentrate on music production.
The success that Gloria Estefan experienced as a solo singer made Emilio Estefan a popular producer among Hispanic singers. He began to arrange albums for a wide array of singers (including Thalía, Shakira and Ricky Martin), and the Estefans became friends with their compatriots, Celia Cruz and Pedro Knight. By the late 1980s, the Estefans already owned a mansion in one of Miami’s exclusive neighborhoods’ and Emilio Estefan owned Crescent Moon Studios, his own personal recording studio also located in Miami.
In 2002, Estefan began to produce the Latin Grammy Awards, an annual ceremony that is televised.
On August 24, 2005, Estefan and well known rap mogul P. Diddy announced the joint creation of a new record label called Bad Boy Latino, to help Hispanic rap singers. In November it was announced that Emilio will be the Executive Producer for Jennifer Lopez’s first Spanish album entitled Como Ama una Mujer was released on 27 March 2007.
On March 13, 2006, HarperCollins Publishers announced the forthcoming publication of Estefan’s how-to and memoir, entitled Think Big!: If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.
Gloria Fajardo became romantically involved with the Miami Sound Machine’s band leader, Emilio Estefan, in 1976. She and Emilio married on September 2, 1978.
They have two children: Nayib (born September 2, 1980) and Emily Marie (born December 5, 1994) and live on Star Island near Miami.
In 1995, one student from Howard University was killed and another was injured when their personal water craft collided with the Estefans’ pleasure boat..
In 2002, an actor who had appeared as an extra in one of Gloria Estefan’s videos alleged that Emilio Estefan had harassed him by asking for sexual favors, but the actor turned out to be a stalker; he was arrested by Miami police while trying to illegally enter the Estefan mansion.
Edited by DrMusique on 22 Dec 2007, 10:30
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