LiliEstefanLili Estefan, host of El Gordo y la Flaca, dishes about her career, marriage and motherhood.

Lili Estefan, the well-known co-host of the afternoon entertainment  show El Gordo y la Flaca, has been informing and entertaining people for over 25 years. She is known for her upbeat and charismatic smile, as well as her exercise routine which resulted in earning her well-deserved nickname “la Flaca.” “I like to work out and I really like to dance. My friends go to a psychiatrist, and I go to a dance class instead. That’s how I get rid of all the negativity,” says Lili. “It’s hard to explain but I’m one of those people who was fortunate enough to dance as a child and now when I dance, I feel just like that little girl again,” adds the well-toned 50-year-old.

Lili was born in Cuba and came to the States at 14 with her father and brother. Lili’s mother had died when Lili was 10. “I came alone with my father, I came with my brother, without my mother, and to a country where I did not know my family. I came to live with my uncle, my grandmother and basically had to start a new life. I didn’t speak English, I went to school and was the weird girl… slowly you just overcome everything,” she recently revealed to El Nuevo Herald.

Luckily, Lili’s aunt and uncle, Miami power couple Emilio and Gloria Estefan, were able to help. In fact, they gave her a taste for the spotlight by having her dance in music videos like “Dr. Beat” by the Miami Sound Machine, led by Gloria Estefan. In 1986 she got her big break as one of the models and entertainers on  Sábado Gigante,  Univision’s longest-running program and the longest-running television variety series in history. One of Lili’s most memorable moments on the show was when she asked her then boyfriend and now husband of
23 years, Lorenzo Luaces, to marry her live and on camera.

After thirteen years with the show, she got a call from Univision about a program tailor-made for her and paparazzo Raúl de Molina. At first, she was reluctant. “When they made the offer, I said no. I came from a family that had been pursued by paparazzi, when Gloria had that accident. Moreover, it was hard to cut the umbilical cord that tied me to Sábado Gigante. Nevertheless, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”

Since the show’s premiere in 1998, fans have watched Lili and Raúl banter, jump into jacuzzis, break exclusive news and share celebrity gossip. Their brand of entertainment has won the show prestigious awards, including an Emmy® for Outstanding Entertainment Program in Spanish. “Even if I had looked into the future there is no way I could have predicted how much I would enjoy this show. Even on days when I’m not feeling well and can take a sick day, I still come in because it just lifts my spirits. We have the best team, and we have so much fun.”

Lili feels the same about co-host de Molina. “Raúl and I have good chemistry, and we get along very well. Especially when you consider I’m always ribbing him and we mess with each other every day.” As one of Latin television’s best paid talents, Lili has also hosted television specials like Premio Lo Nuestro and Nuestra Belleza Internacional, among others.

As a wife and mother of two teenagers, Lorenzo, 16, and Lina, 13, Lili finds time to balance her hectic work schedule with her personal life. When there is a conflict between the two, like the time she was a judge on Mira Quién Baila, she consults her family. “I had to look at the calendar and talk to my children, especially Lorenzo, since his birthday is October 30, and I said to him: ‘My love, I want you to know that on your birthday, your mom won’t be able to do anything with you, like go to Disney over the weekend, if it’s ok with you. If not, I’ll have to ask for a day off.’  And he said: ‘No Mommy, definitely do Mira Quién Baila.’ They were very proud that their mother was a judge on the show.”

All in all, Lili realizes that she is blessed. “I’ve had a wonderful career and I have to thank life that in the middle of it all I have been able to take care of my kids and my husband. I’ve had the privilege of being married only once, and that my husband still admires me, puts up with me, supports me. Thank God! Because with the childhood I had, I needed God to reward me with something spectacular,” says Lili.

El Gordo y la Flaca
Lunes – Viernes a las 4pm/3c

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