There can be few people with knowledge of contemporary music who are unfamiliar with the name Gloria Estefan. She’s the most successful crossover Latin musician ever, with seven Grammy awards and 100 million record sales to her name. Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García de Estefan was born in September 1957 in Havana, Cuba. Have you ever wondered at the lengthy names quoted in our biographical blogs? These follow Spanish naming customs where the paternal name (Fajardo) is given first and the maternal family name (Garcia) second. ‘de Estefan’ was added after her marriage in 1978 to Emilio Estefan.
Aside from a musical career spanning over four decades, Estefan is perhaps best known for her courage and determination in recovering from a fractured spine after her tour bus was involved in a crash in March 1990. There was speculation that she may never walk again and she endured a great deal of pain, once saying, “There were times when the pain was so bad I prayed I’d pass out”, yet she committed herself fully to intensive rehabilitation therapy and resumed touring and singing after just 10 months.
More recently, Estefan has diversified into children’s literature, writing two successful books, The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog and its follow-up, Noelle’s Treasure Tale. Both are available in Spanish language versions entitled Las Magicas y Misteriosas Aventuras de una Bulldog Llamada Noelle and El Tesoro do Noelle: Una Nueva Magica y Misteriosa Aventura respectively. Reading children’s books is a great way to complement your Private Spanish Lessons and expand your knowledge of the language. The simpler language of children’s literature is more manageable for learners and you can gradually increase the difficulty of your reading as your skills improve – just as we do when learning our native languages.