OWN
08/07/2013 10:15 am ET

Gloria Estefan Tells Oprah How She's Stayed True To Her Music (VIDEO)

Gloria Estefan has been called the greatest Latin crossover artist of all time by Billboard magazine and is a seven-time Grammy winner -- but her success didn't come without a fight. When Oprah sat down with the "Conga" queen on "Oprah's Next Chapter," Estefan opened up about the struggle she faced when trying to cross over from her Cuban roots into American pop.

At the beginning of her career, Estefan says she was told her sound was "too American for the Latins, too Latin for the Americans." She was advised to change her name and lose the band's percussion and horns. "I'm going, 'That's who we are! I'm not going to lose any of that,'" she says in the video above.

Chasing fame and popularity wasn't important to Estefan. "We were trying to do music that we felt could do something new, and was fresh and different," she tells Oprah. "Because if you're trying to do what's popular, you're too late. You're two years too late because that stuff starts getting made before. You're chasing your tail."

From dance tracks to tender ballads, Estefan stayed true to her sound and made the music she wanted. "What's the point if you make something that's not you, and you're successful?" she says. "You have to perform it the rest of your life."

"Oh, gosh, I never thought of it that way before," Oprah says. "Imagine having to perform a song you really didn't like in the first place -- over and over."

"Exactly," Estefan says. "That somebody forced you to do because they thought it was going to be a hit. What's the point?"

Watch "Oprah's Next Chapter" Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.

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Gloria Estefan
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Gloria Estefan

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