Gloria Estefan Becomes First Latina Inducted to Songwriters Hall of Fame: ‘Music Has Saved My Life’
The awards ceremony, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, honored Estefan for penning her own mega-hits. Songs like “Mi Tierra,” Shakira‘s “Whenever, Wherever,” and Jennifer Lopez‘s “Let’s Get Loud” made the cut.
While receiving her award, Estefan told the crowd, “Music has saved my life.” She performed a medley of her greatest hits, including Miami Sound Machine-era hits like “Rhythm Gonna Get You” and “Words Get In The Way.”
The best part? Estefan gave the closing performance alongside her husband Emilio Estefan and their 11-year-old grandson, Sasha Estefan.
Gloria Estefan accepted the prestigious award, telling fans: “It is just as magical from the other side of the song”
During her acceptance speech, Estefan took the time to thank her fans for the “privilege” of doing what she loves.
“To those fans that have found in my music what I found in the music of the life-changing songwriters that nourished my soul throughout my life,” she said. “I thank you for that privilege.”
She noted, “I can assure you that it is just as magical from the other side of the song.”
In an interview with The World about the induction, the 65-year-old legend described, “It is one of the most special honors because my music has been an incredibly healing force.”
She also reminisced on the role music played in her childhood. “I remember sitting as a child with the albums and the liner notes, reading every lyric, listening to every word.”
“A lot of those incredible artists, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, The Beatles, they spoke to me,” she remembered. “Never would I have imagined, or dreamed at that time, that one day the words and the music that I would write would do the same for other people.”
As Estefan described to Billboard, “The only perfect song is the one that moves your soul, makes you cry, or gives you goosebumps. The one that touches someone’s heart or mind.”
The singer gave a rousing performance with a hit medley alongside her husband and grandson
As reported by AP News, Estefan closed the awards ceremony with a medley of all her biggest hits spanning from the late 70s. She performed songs like “Can’t Stay Away from You,” “Reach,” “Anything For You,” and “Let’s Get Loud,” making the crowd go wild.
By the end, her husband Emilio Estefan and grandson Sasha joined the icon onstage. It was one of the most touching moments of the night.
“[It was] the only way my mother could get a diaper on me,” she explained.
Estefan told Billboard that as an immigrant, this immense honor means, “There is the freedom in this country to be able to achieve whatever dream you have.”
Referencing her father’s battle with multiple sclerosis, she recalled: “As a young female musician back then, the music of others was my lifeline in difficult times, with my father’s illness.”
“Music has always been the most beautiful thing in my life,” she described. “So the fact that my songs are that for other people is something really special — it’s a privilege that I don’t take lightly.”
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