05/22/2012 08:26 pm ET

'Glee' Welcomes Gloria Estefan As Santana's Mom Tonight! (VIDEO)

For months now, we've been anticipating Gloria Estefan's debut as Santana Lopez's (Naya Rivera) mom on FOX's hit show, "Glee," and tonight we'll finally meet Maribel Lopez (Estefan) in the "Glee" season finale (9/8c on FOX).

The Cuban Grammy-winner spoke to Entertainment Weekly about tonight's episode, and when she was asked to describe her character, Estefan explained that Maribel is a lot like Santana. "Snarky like Santana and sarcastic because the apple can't fall that far from the tree!" Gloria said. "{She] loved to sing and was a singer and put her life on hold because she thought being a mom was very important, so she wants Santana to make it through," she said.

And unlike Santana's grandmother, who we met in January and who disowned Santana after she came out as gay, Maribel loves her daughter unconditionally. "I’m very supportive of my daughter," Estefan said. "You always have to have a back story even if you have one line. So my back story with Santana’s mom was she didn’t get to go to college so she really wants Santana to do that. Up until now Santana has had a good relationship with her grandmother, but when she confronted her the response was very hard. She was probably the same way with Maribel," she added.

Estefan, who says she's been a fan of the show since season one, said she was thrilled when she got the call from executive producer Ryan Murphy to guest star on the show. "Ryan [Murphy] reached out to me to play Santana Lopez’s mom and I was thrilled because I think it was a great opportunity after what the grandma did to do something supportive," she said.

She says she hopes her character will connect with LGBT viewers. "I hope particularly for the gay fans, because she's got a lot of them, she plays a gay character, I want them to know that despite the fact that people might respond in a bad way or in a way that's not supportive in their life, even someone as close as a grandma, that there are parents that can be very supportive," she says. "For the parents, I think it would be a good thing to see. It addresses an issue that is important."

Estefan, who has a daughter in high school, said she relates a great deal to the character. "She’s supportive of her daughter. She just wants her to be happy—bottom line. I know the feeling because my daughter is getting ready to do her last year of high school and she’s gonna do a summer program. It’s the first time we’re all going to be separated. I’m there! It was a very hard thing for me to imagine," she said.

There's only one bad thing about Gloria's appearance on "Glee" -- you wont hear the Cuban Grammy-winner sing on tonight's episode. “I don’t sing on the show but I kinda think that’s better because I think that would throw fans,” she said. “Hopefully, we can come back and do the singing. But I love to be on there and establishing a character.”