Reach (Gloria Estefan song)

"Reach" is a 1996 song by American singer and songwriter Gloria Estefan. It is co-written by Estefan with Diane Warren and was one of two official songs of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, US. The single was included on the official Atlanta 96 album, Rhythm of the Games, and later on Estefan's seventh studio album, Destiny.[1] The song peaked within the Top 10 in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway and Spain. In the United Kingdom, it peaked at number 15. On the Eurochart Hot 100, "Reach" reached number 47 in June 1996. Outside Europe, it peaked at number 23 in Australia and number 42 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. "Reach" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the ceremony in 1997 but lost out to Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart" also written by Diane Warren.

Gloria Estefan Reach Single.jpg
Single by Gloria Estefan
from the album Destiny
ReleasedApril 1996 (1996-04)
Gloria Estefan singles chronology
"Abriendo Puertas A La Navidad"
"You'll Be Mine (Party Time)"
Music video
"Reach" on YouTube

Estefan recorded a Spanish version of the song, "Puedes Llegar", with Julio Iglesias, Plácido Domingo, Jon Secada, Alejandro Fernández, Roberto Carlos, Ricky Martin, José Luis Rodríguez, Patricia Sosa and Carlos Vives on vocals. This version can be found on the Spanish version of the Olympics compilation album, Voces Unidas.

Song historyEdit

"It's about starting over and getting up and moving, so yeah, I can identify very strongly with it. We really wanted the song to be something that everyone could identify with. It was done as a folk song and then, because of the grandness of the Olympics, we threw on the big drums. But it is a song for every culture."

Gloria Estefan talking about the song.[2]

"Reach" was seen by many as the most progressive project of her career until then. The single became available for radio and club airplay on March 26, 1996. It can be described as an anthemic and inspirational ballad with an Olympic tie-in featuring both drums and a gospel choir, and was one of two official songs of the 1996 Summer Olympics which began in Atlanta, US on July 19. Estefan performed the song on the closing ceremony on August 4. It was written by Estefan and famed tunesmith Diane Warren, and co-produced by Estefan's husband, Emilio Estefan Jr. and Lawrence Dermer. The lyrics are about overcoming troubled times and coming back stronger than ever. Radio reactions to the song were strong and the videoclip got active play on various music TV channels, like VH1. It also received remixes from David Morales, Pablo Flores and Love To Infinity.

The song appears on her compilation albums Greatest Hits Vol. II (2001), The Very Best of Gloria Estefan (2006) and The Essential Gloria Estefan (2006).

Critical receptionEdit

The song received favorable reviews from most music critics. Aberdeen Press and Journal complimented Estefan, who "still has an admirable voice".[3] Editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine for AllMusic stated in his review of Destiny, that "Reach" "rank with her finest work", with the other album tracks "I'm Not Giving You Up" and "Higher".[4] Jon O'Brien wrote that the song perhaps is "her finest moment, a motivational power ballad complete with gospel choir and tribal drums."[5] Larry Flick from Billboard described it as a "stately power ballad" and an "outstanding recording". He noted that Estefan "has rarely sounded so vocally flexible and confident, broadening her range to wonderfully appealing heights within a softly building pool of percussion and gospel-spiked choir chants." He added that "by the dramatic close, the song has risen to inspirational anthemic proportions."[6] The Daily Vault's Mark Millan picked it as the best track on the album and added that 'musically it's very "international" and lyrically it's very uplifting.'[7] Chris Hicks from The Deseret News noted it as "gorgeous."[8] Josef Woodard from Entertainment Weekly called it a "feel-goody" song.[9] Dave Sholin from the Gavin Report commented that "the remarkable performer really shines when she has new material that showcases her signature style." He added that the collaboration with pop songwriting genius Diane Warren "results in a production which is quintessential Gloria Estefan."[10] Roger Catlin from Hartford Courant said that Estefan 'is savvy enough to save her trump card for last—her Olympic anthem "Reach".'[11] Jeremy Griffin from The Ithacan said the song is a "triumphant anthem."[12] Music & Media called it a "sweeping ballad dominated by slow, impressive drums which swell to a climax towards the end." They complimented Estefan's voice as "warm and strong, amplified by a gospel choir, but she wisely eschews any vocal acrobatics."[13] Ian Fortnam from NME stated in his review of the album, that "it is 'Reach' that is truly destined to break the global bank this summer as the official anthem of the Olympic Games."[14] David W. Bothner from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that the song is a "surprisingly folksy tune."[15] Bob Waliszewski of Plugged In said that it expesses a "willingness to 'go the distance' to fulfill a promise."[16]

Music videoEdit

A black-and-white music video was made to accompany the song. It was directed by German film director and producer Marcus Nispel and premiered in April 1996.[17] The video was shot at Key Biscayne Beach in Florida[18] and features Estefan standing on a high colossus by the sea, like a monumental goddess. She holds a long black transparent veil that blows in the wind. Birds fly in the air and the sun shining on the sea reflects back on Estefan as she sings. There are at least two different edits of the video. The most common version shows Estefan performing mixed with different TV images of the olympic flag and various Olympic athletes performing in their genres.[19] The other version is called the Vogue version.[20]

Track listingEdit

Original Versions

  1. Album Version — (3:50)
  2. Single Version (w/o Chorus Ending) — (3:50)
  3. Spanish Version ("Puedes Llegar") — (3:50)

Pablo Flores & Javier Garza Remixes

  1. Gold Medal Mix — (6:46)
  2. Gold Medal Single Edit — (4:43)

Love To Infinity Remixes

  1. Love To Infinity's Master Mix — (5:00)
  2. Love To Infinity's Pure & Free Mix — (6:27)
  3. Love To Infinity's Radio Master Mix — (4:18)
  4. Love To Infinity's Walk In The Park Radio Mix — (4:12)
  5. Love To Infinity's Walk In The Park Mix — (6:27)
  6. Love To Infinity's Aphrodisiac Mix — (6:58)

David Morales Remixes

  1. Higher Radio Mix — (3:50)
  2. Higher Club Mix (Vox Up) — (10:42)
  3. Higher Club Mix — (10:42)
  4. Reachin' Dub — (8:10)
  5. Dubstrumental — (7:30)


Chart (1996) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[21] 23
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[22] 26
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[23] 6
Czech Republic (IFPI CR)[24] 3
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[25] 47
Germany (Official German Charts)[26] 58
Hungary (Mahasz)[27] 8
Italy (Hit Parade Italia)[28] 21
Netherlands (Tipparade)[29] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[30] 46
Norway (VG-lista)[31] 10
Poland (LP3)[32] 11
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[33] 18
Spain (Promusicae)[34] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[35] 19
UK Singles (OCC)[36] 15
US Billboard Hot 100[37] 42
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[38] 5
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[39] 29
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[40] 2
US Hot Latin Songs (Billboard)[41] 30

Puedes LlegarEdit

"Puedes Llegar"
Single by Various artists
from the album Voces Unidas
Released1996 (1996)
LabelEMI Latin
Producer(s)Emilio Estefan
Music video
"Puedes Llegar" on YouTube

A Spanish version called "Puedes Llegar" was recorded in 1996 which featured vocals from Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Julio Iglesias, Plácido Domingo, Roberto Carlos, Jose Luis Rodríguez, Patricia Sosa, Alejandro Fernández, Ricky Martin and Carlos Vives. "Puedes Llegar" was included as the opening track for EMI Latin's Voces Unidas, the official Spanish-speaking album for 1996 Olympic Games.[42]

"Puedes Llegar" was released as a promotional single and reached the position 2 on Billboard Hot Latin Tracks and Latin Airplay charts in June 1996.[43][44]


Chart (1996) Peak


US Hot Latin Tracks (Billboard)[43] 2
US Latin Airplay (Billboard)[44] 2
US Latin Pop Airplay (Billboard)[45] 3
US Regional Mexican Airplay (Billboard)[46] 18
US Tropical Airplay (Billboard)[47] 10


  1. ^ Rhythm of the Games
  2. ^ Benson, Michael (2000). Gloria Estefan. Twenty-First Century Books. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Aberdeen Press and Journal. 10 May 1996. p.14. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Gloria Estefan - Destiny". AllMusic. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  5. ^ "Gloria Estefan - The Very Best of Gloria Estefan". AllMusic. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  6. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. March 30, 1996. p. 134. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "Gloria Estefan - Destiny". The Daily Vault. January 21, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  8. ^ "Vocalists go for the gold on Olympic-inspired songs". The Deseret News. July 31, 1996. p. 13. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  9. ^ "Destiny". Entertainment Weekly. June 7, 1996. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  10. ^ Sholin, Dave (March 22, 1996). "Gavin Picks > Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. No. 2097. p. 54. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  11. ^ "ALBUM REVIEW - GLORIA ESTEFAN - DESTINY". Hartford Courant. June 13, 1996. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  12. ^ Griffin, Jeremy (March 22, 2001). "Gloria spices up oldies". The Ithacan. p. 17. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  13. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media (27 April 1996, page 10). Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  14. ^ Fortnam, Ian. "GLORIA ESTEFAN – Destiny". NME. Archived from the original on October 6, 2000. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  15. ^ "Estefan shows why she's tops". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 31, 1996. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  16. ^ Waliszewski, Bob. "Destiny". Plugged In. Focus on the Family. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  17. ^ "Gloria Estefan: Reach (1996)". IMDb. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  18. ^ "Estefan Embraces Her 'Destiny'". Billboard magazine. May 11, 1996. p. 80. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  19. ^ "Gloria Estefan - Reach". YouTube. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  20. ^ "Gloria Estefan - Reach (Vogue Version)". YouTube. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  21. ^ " – Gloria Estefan – Reach". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  22. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3027." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  23. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2991." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 2 March 1991. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  24. ^ "Top 10 Czech Republic" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  25. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  26. ^ " – Gloria Estefan – Reach" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  27. ^ "Top 10 Hungary" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  28. ^ "Indice per Interprete: E". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  29. ^ "Gloria Estefan - Reach" (in Dutch). Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  30. ^ " – Gloria Estefan – Reach" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  31. ^ " – Gloria Estefan – Reach". VG-lista. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  32. ^ "Notowanie nr756" (in Polish). LP3. July 26, 1996. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100 12 May 1996 - 25 May 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  34. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  35. ^ " – Gloria Estefan – Reach". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  36. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  37. ^ "Gloria Estefan Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  38. ^ "Gloria Estefan Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  39. ^ "Gloria Estefan Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  40. ^ "Gloria Estefan Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  41. ^ "Gloria Estefan Chart History (Hot Latin Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  42. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (September 26, 1998). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  43. ^ a b "Voces Unidas (Hot Latin Sogns)". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  44. ^ a b "Voces Unidas (Latin Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  45. ^ "Voces Unidas (Latin Pop Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  46. ^ "Voces Unidas (Regional Mexican Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  47. ^ "Voces Unidas (Tropical Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2019.

External linksEdit