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Top 11 Best Gloria Estefan Songs of All Time

No Latin American artist, whether in the music industry or not, is worth their salt unless they acknowledge a debt to Gloria Estafan.

When it comes to bridging the gap between obscurity and worldwide fame, Gloria Estefan is to Latin music what Michael Jackson was to the moon-walk. She by no means invented it, but she made it world-famous.

The chances that you’ve come across a piece of Gloria Estefan’s music are likely equal to the chances that you’ve tasted Coke or Pepsi in your life. Her Contralto voice has graced radio and TV since the mid-80s and will likely do so for decades to come.

So, before we take a look at Best Gloria Estefan Songs of All Time, let’s find out…

Where it started…

She met her future husband and lifetime musical partner, Emilio Estafan, Jr., at a church ensemble rehearsal. 

Subsequently, she impressed him and the members of his then band, The Miami Latin Boys, with an impromptu performance at a wedding. So much so that they asked her to become the lead singer, and she has never looked back. 

The band was soon renamed Miami Sound Machine. Gloria performed with them over weekends while she attended the University of Miami, from which she would graduate in 1979 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in French.

In 1977… 

Miami Sound Machine would begin recording material which would culminate in their debut album, Live Again/Renacer, released under the Audiofon label. The band would continue to record and release material in the shape of 45s and 12’’ under the Audiofon and RCA Victor Labels. 

Miami Sound Machine even released material under their own label called MSM Records. The band eventually signed to Discos CBS International and released a self-titled album in 1978; that same year, she married Emilio.

In 1984 the band’s first big album, Eyes of Innocence, produced multiple chart hits straight off the bat. But also gained momentum as it lingered on people’s turntables, and follow-up hits would later be generated, making it one of the most successful albums of that year. 

Gaining worldwide recognition…

Best Gloria Estefan Songs 

1987’s Let It Loose is a multi-platinum success, and shortly after this, the group became known as Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. A short while later, the group’s name was dropped, and Estefan became the best known Latin Music artist in the world at the time. 

The success of the single “Anything For You” would later lead to Let It Loose being repackaged as Anything For You.

As if just finishing a warm-up act, she followed up with Cuts Both Ways (1989). To date, it is Gloria Estefan’s best selling album. After that came Into the Light (1991), her first concept album and best chart performer at number 5 on the US Billboard 200 chart.

Success in Spanish…

Gloria was featured on the breakthrough single “Just Another Day” by fellow Latin artist Jon Secada. She received songwriting credits for the Spanish version as well.

In 1993, Gloria released her first Spanish album Mi Terra, one of the seminal works in its arena, becoming 10 times platinum in Spain and selling over eight million copies worldwide. The album peaked at number one on the Latin chart and number 27 on the Billboard album chart. 

Her second Spanish album, Abriendo Puertas (1995), won Gloria her second Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album. With over 75 million copies sold worldwide, Gloria Estefan is one of the best-selling female singers of all time. 

A lifetime of success…

Gloria has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center Honors, the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement, and has also been named BMI Songwriter of the year. 

I could write fifteen lists of songs that I believe are her best, and they’d all be packed with hits. So, don’t think these are ranked in any particular order or are in any way representative of her entire catalog.

They’re simply the ones I hooked onto and could fit into my allocated word length got this article. With that said, here is my selection of the Best Songs by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine

Anything For You

Album: Let It Loose/Anything For You 

The success of this track led to the album Let It Loose getting rebranded as Anything For You. The track represents the first #1 for Gloria. And, it’s a good debut since it stayed at #1 for two weeks straight. The album produced multiple singles and has been certified platinum multiple times.

1-2-3

Album: Let It Loose/Anything For You 

1-2-3” is the first glimpse at something Gloria would become synonymous with over her career, a good party tune. This upbeat number features those very intoxicating rhythms and horn parts that give Latin party music such flare. 

1-2-3” was one of the multiple hits from the album. It reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #3 on the Hot 100. Additionally, the album made it to #9 on the UK Albums chart. 

Words Get In The Way 

Album: Primitive Love

Words Get In The Way” deserves a spot on this list not only because of its chart success. But also because it was the first glimpse at a change in sound for Gloria and the band. 

Known mostly for up-beat dance numbers, doting fans of Gloria’s fantastic low Contralto voice were finally rewarded with this gorgeous ballad in June of 1986. 

The song became the group’s first to break into the top 5 on the Billboard 100 and peaked at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It sold over 35000 copies in the U.S and was eventually certified Gold.

Coming Out of The Dark 

Album: Into the Light 

In 1990, Gloria Estefan nearly lost her life while on tour in Pennsylvania when a semi-truck crashed into her tour bus during a heavy snowstorm. She suffered critical injuries but was still able to make a full recovery in the end. 

Written jointly by Gloria, her husband, and Jon Secada, “Coming Out of The Dark” was her triumphant return after that traumatic accident. This would prove not only a personal triumph but a professional one as well. It has become one of Gloria Estefan’s greatest hits.

The song debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; this was her second since she had started her solo career. The album Into the Light was a first for Gloria as it was her first concept album.

Don’t Wanna Lose You

Album: Cuts Both Ways 

Don’t Wanna Lose You” was Gloria’s first #1 as a solo artist. It was released as the first single from her debut solo album, Cuts Both Ways, and very quickly became an instant hit. 

The arrangement is very minimalist, which was a backdrop that fans had not heard Estefan sing against. A very simple drum beat carries the tune along while a marvelously lush pool of synth-scape creates a giant space that Gloria fills with her voice and lyrics. 

Bad Boy

Album: Primitive Love

Bad Boy” was the second single released by Gloria and Miami Sound Machine. This tune can serve as the perfect archetype for the upbeat party tunes that Estefan would become so well known for.

The song features all the right ingredients for a hit. Big vocals, larger-than-life-sounding instruments, and intoxicating rhythms. It was just nasty enough to appeal to young kids and still be accepted by adults. This is no doubt one of the main reasons for its massive success.

This was Miami Sound Machine’s second top ten hit, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also enjoyed a healthy resurrection when it was used as the intro music for the movie “Three Men And A Baby” (1987).

You’ll Be Mine

Album: Destiny

Sticking to upbeat party numbers that get even the Goths at the party tapping their feet, “You’ll Be Mine” has been described as one of the more provocative numbers in Estefan’s catalog. Although, many have also said it’s merely an expression of harmless fun. Either way, it’s a hit. 

The joyfulness of her vocal delivery on this number, combined with the strong African-influenced rhythms, make for one heck of a combo. This was one of Gloria Estefan’s biggest international hits.

It reached the top twenty in France, Finland, Scotland, and Spain. And in the UK and the US, “You’ll Be Mine” peaked at #2 on the Hot Dance Club Play Chart. As a result, it’s one of the best Gloria Estefan songs of all time.

Oye Mi Canto

Album: Cuts Both Ways

There’s not too much to say about this one as it says most of it by itself. Recorded in English and Spanish, “Oye Mi Canto” or “Hear My Voice” is best expressed in Gloria’s native tongue. 

This is another one of her upbeat classics. But, it has a very strong scent of youthful innocence about it that somehow always makes me think of childhood. 

Can’t Stay Away From You

Album: Let It Loose/Anything For You 

Nothing stood out here in terms of lyrical content or arrangement. Perhaps that’s why this ballad and so many others have the power to cross over to so many millions of hearts. 

Being hopelessly in love is something we’ve all had the fortune or misfortune of being, depending on your perspective. And this tune makes you consider that perspective. 

This song was also a turning point. Gloria would very soon become the focal point of the group. She was by now recognized as the main creative force behind Miami Sound Machine. 

Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

Album: Let It Loose/Anything For You 

It’s hard to imagine that the band and producers struggled to get this song noticed. Released as the first single from Let It Loose, the song failed to make any kind of mark on any chart. After the song was featured in the cop film “Stakeout,” it still failed to garner any kind of serious attention. 

Only after the success of the other singles from the album was “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” re-released as a single and picked up by mainstream radio and the public. The song peaked at #16 on the Billboard Top 100 and is, without a doubt, one of the most famous Gloria Estefan songs to date. 

Conga! 

Album: Primitive Love

Conga!” is arguably the song Gloria will most be remembered for. Considered to be her “signature song,” it was not a huge hit with Spanish listeners when it first came out. But, English-speaking audiences fell in love with it instantly. 

The intoxicating Latin rhythms and upbeat tempo of the song are by now as synonymous with feel-good party music as the sun is with warmth. The song was an instant top ten hit in the U.S and many other countries. 

Want to Find More Amazing Songs?

We can help. Take a look at our comprehensive articles on the Best 90s Love Songs, the Best Fleetwood Mac Songs, the Best Cat Stevens Songs of All Time, the Best Songs About Magic, and the Best Songs About Heroes for more great song selections.

You need to listen to that music. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Headphones Under $200, the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Bass Earbuds, and the Best True Wireless Earbuds you can buy in 2022.

Best Gloria Estefan Songs of All Time – Conclusion

Yes, I’m picking the obvious one but for reasons that might not be so obvious. “Conga!” represents not only that Latin Rhythms and amazing young singers are always going to be the recipe for success but something much larger. 

Gloria’s success as a Latin Singer in the U.S opened the flood gate for future artists. Many of whom have since dominated the U.S and world music scenes. One can very easily argue that Gloria is the one who proved to them that it was possible. 

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Jennifer Bell

Jennifer is a freelance writer from Montana. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Games and Simulation Design.

Her passions include guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments she has been playing since at school. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, yoga, eating well, and spending time with her two cats, Rocky and Jasper.

Jennifer enjoys writing articles on all types of musical instruments and is always extending her understanding and appreciation of music. She also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories for various websites and hopes to get her first book published in the very near future.

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