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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Monday's Connector of the Day – Emilio Estefan

January 8th, 2010
01:55 PM ET

Husband of international superstar Gloria Estefan and renowned ambassador of Latin music, Emilio Estefan’s career has seen him create the Miami Sound Machine, and make records with Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/07/estefan.art.jpg caption="Latin music icon Emilio Estefan"]

In his new biography "The Rhythm of Success: How an Immigrant Produced His Own American Dream," Estefan describes how he landed on American soil with nothing and became successful beyond his wildest imagination.

At the age of 11, Estefan’s family joined the great migration wave from Cuba to Miami. As a boy he helped pay the bills by getting a day job working in the Bacardi factory mailroom. He spent his evenings playing in a band with his co-workers and his music career was born.

During one event, he met Gloria Fajardo and later recruited to her to join the band – later called the Miami Sound Machine – and the two were married in 1978.

The group found great success in the 1980s, hitting the big time with the 1986 album, "Primitive Love" which included the catchy single "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You."

Estefan is credited as a musical pioneer who has helped to change the landscape of modern music – he was one of the first to fuse Latin rhythms with American pop and R&B, creating a Latin explosion in the pop charts.

If you have a question for the powerhouse producer Emilio Estefan – about life with Gloria, working with Shakira or his rags-to-riches story, post them here and we’ll put the best ones to him on Monday’s show.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. carole

    How do you feel, as an American, when you come to countries like Spain, one of the countries where latino music probably originated. Do you feel "I can relate" but I'm an American so I'm in another world?

    January 8, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  2. Eduardo

    Having noticed the advance of music through decades, what is your advice for the young producers out there who would like to become the next Emilio Estefan?

    January 9, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  3. Christopher Ippolito

    Four years ago I bought one of your guitars! You know, the one with the little amp? Now I have a band, a recording deal, and I am touring the college circut. Where's your hat?

    January 9, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  4. Coenie Kukkuk

    Dear Emilio

    Was the hostility between Cuba and USA a factor in bringing Latin music to the USA, in other words, without the immigration wave, Latin music would not have become mainstream in the USA?

    Coenie Kukkuk, South Africa

    January 10, 2010 at 7:35 am | Reply
  5. Lisa Tubman

    Can you offer advice to someone wanting to break into the music business?

    January 10, 2010 at 10:05 am | Reply
  6. Raoul

    Dear Emilio ,
    When will you and Gloria do a European tour ,
    Best regards

    January 10, 2010 at 11:05 am | Reply
  7. Roy Mingo

    Hi Emilio
    This is an old friend Roy Mingo from LaGuardia in NY. Hope all is well with you and Gloria. I retired from AA five years ago and now I am on St. Maarten with a new career
    Happy to see that you are doing well . If you get to St Maarten , I am at the airport and would be more than happy to meet and assist you.

    January 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  8. John

    What are some of the changes you've noticed in the Latin music world over the course of your career?

    January 11, 2010 at 10:13 am | Reply
  9. David D

    Are you a fan of the latest pop music out on the market? What are your opinions of musicians today like Lady Gaga for example. Do you think music is heading in the right direction or are you not a fan?

    January 11, 2010 at 10:14 am | Reply
  10. Geo Ortiz

    I was in the U.S. military stationed in West Germany in the 1970's. I would like you to know how proud you made us, Latinos, feel listening to your music in a strange land away from our homes. God bless to you and Gloria.

    January 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  11. Ed

    Hi Emilio!
    With music spreading in the digital world quickly, how are producers and musicians are going to profit from and take credit for what they do?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 am | Reply

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