Emilio & Gloria Estefan: The Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song
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Monday, December 21, 2020
Credit: Courtesy of Shawn Miller, Library of Congress
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—Latest from Emmy Award-Winning Music Series is First to Honor Musicians-Songwriters of Hispanic Descent—
“Emilio & Gloria Estefan: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” a PBS music special, honors Emilio and Gloria Estefan's receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
This will be the first time the Gershwin Prize will be awarded to a married couple or to musicians-songwriters of Hispanic descent.
The event was taped on March 13, 2019 at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
The program features performances by Gloria Estefan, as well as Jose Feliciano, Il Volo, Cyndi Lauper, Emily Estefan, and original cast members of “On Your Feet!,” and a special presentation by Quincy Jones — with Rita Moreno and Andy Garcia as hosts.
The Estefans and the other performing artists will be joined by a house band led by music director Gregg Field.
“The music created by Emilio and Gloria Estefan makes you want to listen to the beat and get on your feet,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “They are the creative force behind the popularity of music steeped in the Latino culture. This dynamic couple’s professional and personal journey truly mirrors the American dream, and we are so pleased to honor their musical legacy.”
THEIR CAREER + MARRIAGE
The Estefans symbolize the rich cultural diversity of the American musical experience.
They are musical auteurs, creating a unique sound of Latin rhythms that transcends cultural boundaries, parlaying their creative genius into entrepreneurship and community activism, and propelling the careers of many of today’s Latino artists to stardom.
During their more than 30-year career, they have built a musical empire and made listening to Cuban-infused music one of America’s favorite pastimes.
“From the moment I started singing, I was drawn to the iconic songs of the immensely talented Gershwin brothers and have had the privilege to record several of them,” said Gloria Estefan. “I am deeply honored, along with Emilio Estefan, my beloved husband of 40 years, to be the 2019 recipients of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. This award celebrates lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding, and we feel privileged to have been able to live our lives making and sharing music. We are profoundly humbled to have been chosen for this singular accolade.”
“My life and career in music has been a blessing, and I’m humbled by this amazing honor and to be sharing it with my wife,” said Emilio Estefan. “I can only hope that our careers will influence a new generation of songwriters and producers. Throughout my career, my wish has always been to inspire minorities and to be an example that with hard work and dedication, all your dreams can come true.”
Married since 1978, the Cuban-American Estefans started their extraordinary rise to global fame in 1985 with Miami Sound Machine, creating a unique sound that blended Latin and pop rhythms.
Many of their iconic hits — including “Conga,” “Turn the Beat Around,” “Get on Your Feet” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” — reflected the perfect marriage of creative lyrics, high-octane rhythms and spirited vocals.
In March 2018, “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” was named to the National Recording Registry, an exclusive group of sound recordings selected for preservation because of their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to the nation’s audio heritage.
The Estefans have both been named BMI’s “Songwriter of the Year” and have garnered 26 Grammy Awards between them.
Their life story and music were showcased in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical “On Your Feet!,” which they executive produced.
In addition to their musical talents, they are also successful entrepreneurs, philanthropists and humanitarians. The Estefans have received numerous awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Gloria Estefan is one of the most successful crossover artists in Latin music history. She is a seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and author of two New York Times best-selling children’s books.
She has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and achieved 38 #1 hits across the Billboard charts.
Her many achievements are a testament to her popularity:
- An Academy Award-nominated recording, “Music of My Heart”
- A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Spain’s Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts
- A National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress, among others
She is scheduled to release a new album the first quarter of 2019.
Emilio Estefan, a 19-time Grammy Award winner, is a musician, songwriter, record and television producer, best-selling author, filmmaker and cultural ambassador.
- He was one of the founding leaders of the Latin Grammy Awards, inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame and named the first “Person of the Year” by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
- Estefan was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- The Songwriters Hall of Fame presented him with its lifetime achievement award
- He was selected as the second vice chair to the Commission for the National Museum of the American Latino by President Barack Obama
- President George W. Bush also appointed him as a member of the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities
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A co-production of WETA Washington, D.C.; Bounce AEG, a division of Concord Music Group; and The Library of Congress; in association with Latino Public Broadcasting. The executive producers are Dalton Delan, Carla Hayden and Michael Strunsky. The producers are Bounce’s Tim Swift, Gregg Field, and, for the Library of Congress, Susan H. Vita and Jarrod MacNeil.
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