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Jose Feliciano

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Jose Feliciano enjoys status as a trailblazer in bringing Latin tempos into the American pop music mainstream. He is frequently cited as an inspiration and influence for prominent contemporary entertainers of Latin ancestry, such as Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony or Enrique Iglesias.

His storied career is highlighted with milestones that include more than 40 Gold and Platinum records and 16 Grammy nominations. Guitar Player Magazine named him "Best Pop Guitarist" for five consecutive years. In 1987 he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has performed as a guest artist with the London Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony. His life in music was chronicled in a PBS documentary, "Jose Feliciano, A Legend In Concert."

Born blind in a mountain town in Puerto Rico, he moved to New York City with his family when he was five years old. As a young man he taught himself to play the accordion and guitar by listening to records. By assimilating the influences of Latin music, American rock 'n roll and traditional folk songs, he created a distinctive vocal and guitar playing style.
He had his first taste of fame in 1966 when he recorded an album of Spanish music in Argentina for RCA records. He became a top-selling artist in Mexico, the Caribbean and South and Central America. His success inspired RCA to bring him back to the United States and record a song initially made famous by the Doors, "Light My Fire." The recording permanently established Feliciano as an artist of note on the American music scene.

In 1968 he again earned national attention by singing a soulful rendition of the National Anthem at the Baseball World Series. He then recorded the song and "The Star Spangled Banner" reached the Top 40 charts for the first time. Since this groundbreaking performance, the National Anthem is rarely sung in the traditional way.

"Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad" has become a Christmas standard and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers named it one of the 25 greatest holiday songs of the 20th Century.

In recent years he has enjoyed successful concerts throughout the world and has performed and recorded with notable stars such as Paul Simon, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin and Carlos Santana.
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