Jose Feliciano

José Feliciano is foundational to the explosion and acceptance of Latin music around the world. “Rozandome,” the latest single from the multi-Grammy award winning and legendary artist, exemplifies that very sentiment. A synthesis of traditional pop and Latin music, the new song showcases just how instinctively attuned Feliciano is to both English and Spanish cultures. Out September 23rd and the first off Feliciano’s highly anticipated new studio album Love & Christmas, 2022 sees this remarkable and singular figure in musical culture’s nearly 60-year career still-unfolding. Puerto Rican by birth, a New Yorker (Spanish Harlem) from his childhood, José Feliciano has been a fact of American and Spanish musical life since his breakthrough at the height of the Sixties – the golden age of pop, rock and folk music.

Born blind in Puerto Rico, the fourth son of a large family that moved to New York’s Spanish Harlem, José Feliciano served notice, as little more than an infant, of his insatiable desire to make music and an emerging talent. He was 9 years old when his life changed forever – the day his father handed him a paper bag that contained his first guitar. Largely self-taught, from listening to guitarists as diverse as Andrés Segovia and Wes Montgomery, Feliciano became a singer and guitarist. (Ray Charles and Sam Cooke inspired his vocal style.) He began performing, with the kind of success that helped support his family and began to upend the grim fate that awaited most blind people at that time.

By the time he was a teenager, Feliciano was turning heads as a singer/guitarist across the country in the folk club/coffeehouse scene – “a 10-fingered wizard,” a critic for the New York Times hailed him. He was signed by RCA Victor, where his early successes established him through his virtuosic guitar-playing and uncommon ease in drawing on the sounds of folk, pop, soul, and rock, filtered through the Latin sensibility in which he learned music. In the Spanish-speaking world – where, after he visited Argentina in 1966, he began to virtually reinvent the possibilities in the classic boléro form – he was a top-selling recording star by the time he was 21.

Feliciano already had a distinctive international career when “Light My Fire” catapulted him to real pop superstardom. It was a song no one much wanted him to record except producer Rick Jarrard. It was even the “B” side of the single from Feliciano! (“California Dreamin’” was the “A” side). The rest is history. The recording won Feliciano a 1968 GRAMMY Award® for his performance, the same year he won the GRAMMY for Best New Artist of the Year. And – in another uncanny trick of fate – his classic cover of “California Dreamin’” was selected by director Quentin Tarantino for his circa-1969 soundtrack for his acclaimed 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

To date, Feliciano has won nine GRAMMY Awards (with a whopping 19 nominations), including Lifetime Achievement honors and multiple other nominations. He has released more than 60 albums in both English and Spanish, on a variety of labels, collaborating with an extraordinary array of artists. He has been awarded over 45 Gold and Platinum records. He toured the world (and continues to), maintaining a vibrant presence in the Latin music world, and even became a fixture in American television with the theme song he recorded in 1974 for the hit series Chico and the Man. In 2000, Feliciano was named a GRAMMY Legend and, a decade later, “Feliz Navidad” entered the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. In 2010, he earned a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Throughout the year 2018, Feliciano celebrated the golden anniversary of his breakthrough and of the way his music, his artistry and his personal integrity have been woven into the Latin experience. In 2018, he returned in triumph to his native Puerto Rico and also performed for Pope Francis I at the Vatican. Feliciano began 2019 with a notable return to Puerto Rico with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to perform a benefit for the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria. The year before, he recorded a very special single, “En Mi Viejo San Juan,” for Miranda’s charity – a recording, straight from his soul, destined to be a classic. In the spring, the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The memories were not all golden: 2018 was also the 50th anniversary of the fury and outrage that resulted by Feliciano’s uniquely styled interpretation of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Game 5 of the 1968 World Series – the first artist (Jimi Hendrix and Woodstock were almost a year in the future) to put a contemporary, personal, multicultural stamp on the National Anthem.

In 2020, Feliciano released Behind This Guitar which brought the singer/guitarist full circle with producer and old friend Rick Jarrard, whom RCA Victor assigned to produce the very young Feliciano in the late 1960s. It was Jarrard who convinced Feliciano to record The Doors’ “Light My Fire” for their album Feliciano! – the record that made him a household name in 1968. Two years later, in the midst of recording a Christmas album, it was Jarrard who told Feliciano they needed a new song and encouraged Feliciano as he virtually improvised the enduring classic “Feliz Navidad.”

In support of Feliciano’s holiday classic “Feliz Navidad” which turned 50 in 2020, a children’s book titled José Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad: 50th Anniversary was released in English and Spanish that same year, along with a paired animated short film. “Feliz Navidad” continues to be the world’s most popular bilingual Christmas song, which inspired Feliciano to record a new, star-studded version that was released as an Amazon Original recording on November 20th, 2020. In celebration of the holidays and the 50th anniversary of “Feliz Navidad”, a special line of merchandise including apparel, José bear (stuffed animal), a coloring book, and much more will be available at Amazon,, and That same year, “Feliz Navidad” re-entered the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the first time in 50 years (reaching #6), and renewed anniversary celebrations of the holiday classic have continued in the years since.

In 2021, Feliciano released Behind This Guitar (the Deluxe album). The special release included 3-new tracks, including “Eagle When She Flies”, the first ever song collaboration between Feliciano and Dolly Parton, the patriotic track, “I’m America”, featuring the Virginia Union University Choir led by Dove Award winner David Bratton, and “Feliz Navidad 50th Anniversary (FN50)”, a reimagined recording of the original 1970 holiday classic featuring 30-international artists. Feliciano, whose legendary career spans 60-plus years, is no stranger to the Country music world, having recorded many country songs and performed with some of the genre’s most critically acclaimed artists including Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Glenn Campbell among many others. His collaboration with Dolly Parton, “Eagle When She Flies,” marks his latest contribution to the Country World. Additionally Feliciano was featured on Spanish rapper C.Tangana’s track “Un Venano” alongside Niño de Elche further exemplifying the long list of musical collaborations that Feliciano continues to build.

In May 2022, Feliciano released his rendition of the official anthem of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, La Boriqueña. The release was timed to the 500th year celebration of San Juan, Puerto Rico, marking the five centuries since the city’s revolution against Spain.

In conjunction with new music, Feliciano’s critically praised and forthcoming documentary, José Feliciano – Behind This Guitar, will release on September 29th through Peacock/Telemundo in the U.S. The film is executive-produced by Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Carlos Santana and Rudy Perez, and chronicles the sixty-year career and ‘against all odds’ life of the 9-time Grammy winner and musical icon. Despite an impoverished upbringing, a life-long disability and a career confronting adversity, racism, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, José Feliciano becomes the first ever Latino crossover artist and the first Latino to win a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1968, and Best Song for Light My Fire. Prior to that, he had revolutionized the Spanish bolero becoming a sensation throughout Latin America.