Gloria Estefan, the Cuban-American pop star who achieved worldwide fame in the 1980s, was honored by the Spanish government on Monday for her contribution to the arts.
Accompanied by her music-producer husband Emilio, the singer was presented with the Gold Medal of Merit for the Arts by Culture Minister Jose Guirao in Madrid’s Teatro Real opera house.
The ceremony was organized especially for Estefan, who could not attend an event earlier this year where King Felipe presented medals to several other recipients.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, the multi-Grammy Award winner, who has had hits in Spanish and English, spoke out on some of the issues facing Latino people in the United States, including the policy of separating the children of migrants from their parents.
“We are frightened about the treatment those children received,” Estefan told a news conference. “It’s a very difficult moment and I think the whole of the United States is a bit anxious. It’s a difficult time worldwide.”
Estefan said she had finished recording an album to be released in January: “We have re-invented some of my tracks so you can consider it a ‘Greatest hits’ so to speak, but no, because it also has four new tracks.”