Latin academy honoring Gloria Estefan

9:10 AM PST 08/19/2008 by Leila Cobo, Billboard, AP

Will receive Person of the Year award in November

MIAMI -- Latin pop superstar Gloria Estefan will be recognized as the 2008 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Estefan will be honored during a tribute dinner on Nov. 12 in Houston, one night before the Latin Grammy Awards. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Gloria Estefan Foundation and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Estefan was selected as much for her musical accomplishments -- which include Grammy and Latin Grammy awards -- as for her multiple philanthropic contributions.

"She is one of Latin music's most enduring icons, and we are privileged to be honoring such a dedicated, generous, and gifted lady," Latin Recording Academy president Gabriel Abaroa said.

Estefan first catapulted to the limelight as the voice of the Miami Sound Machine, with which she recorded such hits as "Conga" and "Words Get in the Way." Estefan would go on to sell more than 90 million albums worldwide, initially with Miami Sound Machine, and later, as a soloist.

Successful in both Spanish and English, she was one of the first acts to achieve crossover success worldwide. Among her many hit recordings, 1992's "Mi Tierra" spent a record-setting 58 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart.

Estefan's latest recording, 2007's "90 Millas," is an homage to her Cuban roots that features icons like Israel "Cachao" Lopez and Johnny Pacheco.

Estefan is the ninth Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree and is the first woman to receive the honor. Previous honorees include Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin and Carlos Santana. The Latin Grammys will air live on the Univision network on Thursday, Nov. 13.
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