Emilio Estefan's "Rythm of Success"
Police arrest soccer fans prior to the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group A match between Poland and Russia in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Russian soccer fans clashed with police and Poland supporters in separate incidents in Warsaw on Tuesday, just hours before the two teams were to meet in an emotionally charged European Championship match. Several people were injured. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer) / Gero Breloer
The soft-spoken music producer and husband of singer Gloria Estefan left Cuba as a child and brought with him a passion to entertain the world.
He put Latin music on the pop charts with the Miami Sound Machine in the 1980s, and built an entertainment empire with his wife.
His career began as a young Cuban immigrant looking for opportunity.
As a teen, Estefan brought his accordion to various Miami restaurants before moving up to weddings -- humble beginnings for this 19-time Grammy winner who remains an ardent supporter of children pursuing careers in the arts.
This week, at New York's Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Estefan broke in a new piano and met a group of students with aspirations of their own.
When they asked Estefan what made him want to become a producer, he said it was his genuine love of music.
Estefan completed his goals by never giving up and embracing the endless posibilites offered in America.
"You can never stop dreaming in this country," he told the students.
Estefan's dreams have now lead him to pursue writing, as well. He sat down with Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez to talk about his new book, "The Rhythm of Success," about how an immigrant produced his own American dream.
"We're very happy. So many years they asked me to write a book and I think this is the perfect time to do that," he said.
Rodriguez recalled the first time she saw Estefan, in the 1980s, as a high school student in Miami. She remembered being very excited to see the Miami Sound Machine perform at at small club called The Big Five.
From a little dance club in Miami to an incredible career, Estefan remains as humble as the day he arrived in the United States.
"We're blessed. The book is about that -- how you have to re-invent yourself and plan for future things. And when you go through a crisis like we're going through now, you have to be more creative. So I think that, if a lot of questions people ask me, they will find that in the book," Estefan said.
As "fantastic" as coming to America and achieving the American dream was, it was also life-altering and bittersweet for Estefan.
"When I was writing the book, (I was) recreating the moment when I left my mom in Cuba and I knew some of my family, I knew I would never see them again," he said.
This heart-wrenching realization made him not want to celebrate birthdays or holidays anymore -- until he married Gloria.
She made him think more positively/ It was "the first time we put a Christmas tree in my house. So that was a great blessing -- that she brought a lot of hope and different view about life," he said.
The couple is still going strong after 32 years of marriage and two children.
"What is the biggest lesson that you've learned from Gloria?" Rodriguez asked.
"The biggest lesson, she went through hard times. As an immigrant, I think we share a lot of dreams," Estefan explained. "I think coming all the way from the bottom, you learn to appreciate life. You appreciate fans and success.
"A lot of people that I know, they are famous and rich and they're not happy. And I think me and Gloria, we share a lot of happy moments, because we really went through rough times in our lives."
And one of the secrets of success is something that Estefan has lived by.
As his own boss, someone who has taken risks and has always given back, Estefan offered his No. 1 piece of advice for people to make the best of their lives. "Take chances. Love what you do. Absolutely love what you do," he said. "Whatever you're going to do, spend the rest of your life -- if you love what you do, it's fantastic."
To read an exerpt of "The Rythm of Success," click here (Excerpted with permission from Celebra, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., copyright 2010.)
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