It was an evening straight out of a fairy tale: Latin stars descended on the red carpet in their bespoke tailored suits and minimalist ball gowns (hello, Alejandra Guzman!) to hail the Queen of Latin Pop herself, Gloria Estefan. Jose Feliciano, Andy Garcia, Luis Fonsi, Patti Labelle and John Legend were just some of the celebs that came out to the George R. Brown Convention Center in H-town for the 2008 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Estefan.
In our exclusive video, we asked the famous guests what they admire the most about Estefan and their answers ranged from her philanthropic work to her courage (remember that near-fatal car accident she suffered in 1990?) Puerto Rican crooner Luis Fonsi even gave us an exclusive preview of his "Always Tomorrow" cover performance honoring Estefan right there on the red carpet, which caused us to start crushing on him...hard! Not that we weren't in love with his velvety voice before.
We even took the opportunity to ask the legendary singer's best friend and hubby Emilio what he thought about President Elect Obama's victory and what it could mean for potential improved U.S.- Cuba relations. "We're going to support him," Emilio said. "It's a beautiful thing that he's won. Who knows? Maybe a Latino can be president of the United States one day. Even if I don't get to see it, but my children do."
On the red carpet, we also caught up with a whole new generation of Gloria fans, from Best New Artist nominee Ximena Sarinana (Mexico), Dominican singer Alih Jey, who's up for Best Solo Rock Album (Necia) and miniature reggaeton artist Miguelito.
At the dinner, guests were treated to performances by Patti Labelle, who sang "Coming Out of the Dark, and José Feliciano who covered the Cuban icon's classic “Con Los Años Que Me Quedan," in between Filet Mignon bacon-wrapped shrimp, heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad, and a panacotta dessert. A huge highlight was when Gloria's 13-year-old daughter, Emily, played drums and guitar on stage, backed by Miami Sound Machine!
Gloria capped the event with an unforgettable rendition of "No Llores" as Emilio, Emily and son Nayib cheered her on and the crowd rose to their feet for the one and only Reina.