Gloria Estefan says her recovery from a broken back that nearly left her paralyzed was spurred by the haunting memory of her father withering away in a wheelchair and the overwhelming response of her fans.

The Cuban-born pop singer returned to the stage this weekend in Miami to kick off a 41-city, 53-day world tour that wraps up in New York City in September.Estefan was on the last part of a sold-out world tour when her bus was rear-ended March 20, 1990, on a snowy Pennsylvania highway. She broke her back when she was hurled out of her bunk.

"I'm at a loss for words right now," she told an emotionally charged hometown audience Friday night. "I thought I'd have a million things to say when I got up here, but it's so hard. No matter what I say, it is not enough for all the love you've given me this year. You moved mountains for me."