You Won’t Believe What These Latin Artists Did Right Before They Hit It Big

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No one was born famous, with the exception of the first test-tube baby (and maybe Paulina Rubio).

So, it should come as no surprise that many of the world’s most famous Latin artists held down odd jobs while they waited for their eventual superstardom to hit. What might surprise you is just how odd some of those jobs actually were. Almost every musician has a story of working as a dishwasher or in retail, but only these select few musicians have worked jobs this interesting.

Gloria Estefan

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It makes a weird sort of sense that the woman perhaps best credited with bringing Latin sounds into the American pop music mainstream would make her living translating. Before she found success as the frontwoman of Miami Sound Machine, Gloria Estefan worked as a translator in the Customs Department of Miami International Airport, translating between English, Spanish and French.

But that’s not the most interesting part. Her trilingual fluency and ability to pass in both Cuban and American circles caught the attention of the CIA, who approached Estefan to work for them.

“They realized that I was someone who could pass as a regular person without raising any eyebrow,” she said onTelemundo’s Al rojo vivo with MarÍa Celeste Arrarás . “So the CIA approached me and wanted me to train in their Atlanta headquarters.”