June 05, 2000 12:00 PM

>Gloria Estefan

Although she has sold millions of albums, Gloria Estefan’s only Grammys were awarded for her Spanish-language records, Mi Tierra (1993) and Abriendo Puertas (1995). Once again, the songs on her latest release, Alma Caribeña (“Caribbean Soul”), are rooted in the rhythms and melodies of her native Cuba.

Do you get a special feeling singing in Spanish?

Spanish songs were the ones I sang to my grandmother as a little girl, the songs from old Cuba that I learned from her. So to me it’s very natural.

After appearing in Music of the Heart with Meryl Streep, is there anyone you would love to portray on film?

I have a curiosity about the life of Connie Francis. She was hugely famous in the ’60s and went through a lot of drama. Heck, I’d do it just to sing “Where the Boys Are,” one of my favorites.

What was it like having ‘N Sync appear on your May 12 CBS special?

‘N Sync get a bum rap. People think they’re not real, but they’re totally real, and they work like animals. They do their own arrangements and choreography. They’re young, but they’ve grown up in an amazingly complex world, so it’s no surprise they’re so mature.

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