MIAMI (Aug. 19, 2008) — GRAMMY®-and Latin GRAMMY®-winning international superstar Gloria Estefanwill be honored as the 2008 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy ®. Estefan was chosen for her philanthropic, professional and cultural accomplishments and will receive the honor at a star-studded concert and tribute dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008,at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. A portion of the proceeds from the evening's tribute dinner will benefit the Gloria EstefanFoundation as well as St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. The prestigious event will be produced by 13-time GRAMMY winner Phil Ramone and will precede the 9th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, which will be held at the Toyota Center in Houstonon Thursday, Nov. 13, and will be broadcast live on the Univision Television Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central.
"The Latin Recording Academyand its Board of Trustees are elated to recognize Gloria Estefan as an extraordinary Latina woman, humanitarian and talented musician who has made a global impact on music and culture," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "She is one of Latin music's most enduring icons, and we are privileged to be honoring such a dedicated, generous, and gifted lady."
Estefan has been a force within the music industry for three decades with 22 albums and more than 90 million records sold. She began her career collaborating with the Miami Latin Boys band. Estefan became an integral part of the band and was essential in creating the group's new sound and by 1980, she and the group became known as Miami Sound Machine and were signed to a record label. They went on to release albums such as Primitive Love, which sold more than 3 million units in the United Statesalone and produced the hit singles "Bad Boy," "Words Get In The Way" and "Conga." The next two albums, Let It Loose (1987) and Cuts Both Ways (1989), were both worldwide chart-topping sensations, and produced such hits as "Can't Stay Away From You," "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Anything For You," "1-2-3," "Don't Wanna Lose You," and "Get On Your Feet."
After a bus accident that left her partially paralyzed in March 1990, Estefan, against all odds, triumphantly returned to the stage with a 17-country tour and her chart-topping album, Into The Night. In 1993 she returned to her Latin music roots and released Mi Tierra, which garnered Estefan her first GRAMMY Award. She performed the official theme song, "Reach," at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, which became the first single from a new English-language album Destiny. Released in 2001, Alma Caribeña earned Estefan a GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album and a Latin GRAMMY for Best Short Form Music Video. Her most recent album, 90 Millas, pays tribute to the roots of Cuban music and gave Estefan the opportunity to work with fellow legendary artists such as Sheila E., Andy García, Israel"Cachao" Lopez, Johnny Pacheco, Carlos Santana, and many others.
Not only is Estefan an award-winning singer/songwriter and musician, she is also a compassionate philanthropist who established the Gloria Estefan Foundation, which aims to promote good health, education and cultural development. One of the main benefactors of the Gloria Estefan Foundation is the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis — the leading research center for spinal cord injuries. Estefan served as chairwoman for a capital campaign that raised more than 40 million dollars to build the Lois Pope Life Center neurological research facility. The foundation also raises funds for other organizations and has donated millions of dollars to a number of charities including the American Red Cross, UNICEF and the Miami Children's Hospital Brain Institute.
Estefan is the ninth Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree and is the first woman to receive the honor. She joins a prestigious list of previous honorees, which includes Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana.
The Latin Recording Academy is an international, membership-based organization comprised of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking recording artists, musicians, songwriters, producers and other creative and technical recording professionals. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for Latin music and its makers. In addition to producing the Latin GRAMMY Awards to honor excellence in the recorded arts and sciences, The Latin Recording Academy provides educational and outreach programs for the Latin music community. For more information about The Latin Recording Academy, please visit www.grammy.com.