José Feliciano was born in Lares, Puerto Rico, and moved to New York as a child. In 1970, he missed his 10 brothers and the rest of his family. He missed caroling and eating traditional foods with his family. He was lonely. So he came up with a song that captured the joy of the Christmas season in both Spanish and English: “Feliz Navidad.”

The song is now on the Top 10 Christmas Songs list at Billboard. It contains a total of 19 words and lasts for three minutes. It has been heard by 3.8 billion people, according to Billboard. ASCAP’s Top 25 list, featuring the most-played Christmas songs of 2020, features “Feliz Navidad” at #21. Th song has also showed up on ASCAP’s liftoff theMost Played Christmas Songs of All Time.

Feliciano recorded the song with his own guitar, bass, and cuatro. The only other instruments on the recording are percussion. With influences from classical guitar and traditional Latin American music as well as Puerto Rican music and jazz, his original song brought a new sound to the mostly traditional “Feliz Navidad” album.

Feliciano celebrated the 50th anniversary of the song with a new recording, a live version on late-night TV, and a children’s book.

Jose Feliciano is often mentioned as the first Spanish-speaking musician to get significant crossover success with bilingual music in the United States. His recording of the Doors’ “Light My Fire” hit #3 in the United States, selling over one million albums. That year, he received his first two Grammy awards.

Feliciano also sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 1968 World Series. His Latin jazz style recording later became the only recording of the national album to hit the pop charts, but at the time it offended many traditionalists. People called for his deportation, not realizing that as a Puerto Rican, he was a U.S. citizen.

“I thought, ‘Well, they’re gonna have a tough time because Puerto Rico is part of the United States!'” he said in an interview. “I don’t think anybody loves this country as much as I do.”

“Feliz Navidad” is an international hit, though. The new children’s book, released on Feliciano’s 75th birthday in September, portrays him as a musical superhero flying around the world singing, “Feliz Navidad.”



One response

  1. Some of the Best International Christmas Songs:
    The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole (USA) …
    Vive Le Vent – Dalida (France) …
    Noche de Luz – Alejandro Sanz (Spain) …
    All I Want for Christmas – Mariah Carey (USA) …
    Petit Papa Noël – Tino Rossi (France) …
    Leise Rieselt der Schnee – Sarah Connor (Germany) …
    Arbolito de Navidad – Gloria Estefan (Cuba) …
    A Natale Puoi – Alicia (Italy)

    “WE THE PEOPLE…..”. Are a nation of great diversity that strengthens us, not divides us. PRicans living in the island chose by a clear majority – through their democratic votes – to join the USA as the 51st State. The latest comments made by career politicians and their agendas are not a reflection of the PR reality. PR has consensus and it is clear towards Statehood. Let’s not forget the 5 Million PRicans who already chose Statehood and are an active and vibrant part of our communities.
    Let’s not forget that many in the past few years relocated to the mainland dissatisfied with their PR local politicians and their administrative mishaps, corruption and nepotism. Let’s not forget our P Rican Military Veterans and those in active duty who everyday show courage and determination by helping protect our democratic republic and our way of life. Let’s not forget our founding fathers and what they stood for. Let’s not forget our Nation’s Declaration of Independence from Tyranny, our USA Constitution, our bill of rights and our three branches of government. Let’s not forget territorial colonialism has no place in today’s society. Let’s not forget, PR joining the union with complete, unequivocal partnership through Statehood is long overdue. Let’s not forget the ultimate legacy of every member of congress and every USA President is to be the keepers and protectors of our Constitution, hence, it is their responsibility to admit PR as the 51st State. Let’s ensure 2021 is the year PR Statehood is granted and embraced without hesitation. Feliz Navidad and a prosperous, healthy and productive new year.!

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