Jose Feliciano to receive Legend Award at Latin Billboard Awards

‘Navidad’ came early for Weston resident José Feliciano: the Grammy winner will receive the first-ever Billboard Legend Award at the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards on Thursday, Sept. 29.

The announcement was made Thursday and according to Billboard, the award was created to honor those with a career that is “larger than life.” 

Known for his bilingual Christmas song, “Feliz Navidad,” which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020,  has earned more than 45 gold and platinum awards and received 19 Grammy nominations with a total of eight wins. 

“When Rick suggested to me to write a song for Christmas, I didn’t know if I could write a song that could meet up with ‘White Christmas,’” Feliciano told Hearst CT Media Group in 2020. “Those songs, when you hear them as a little kid, you say to yourself, ‘How can I compete with songs like that?’ I’ve always been a competitor. I’ve always been an achiever. I’ve always wanted to succeed.”

On Dec. 7, 2020, Feliciano made an appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon which was recorded at Factory Underground Studio in Norwalk. He was also featured on “CBS Sunday Morning” Dec. 13, 2020. The song has been reimagined and performed by 39 musicians from nine countries. The ‘Feliz Navidad 50th Anniversary FN50’ is available on Amazon Music.

Feliciano was born blind in Lares, Puerto Rico, and began playing the concertina and accordion at 6 years old. He also studied guitar with Harold Morris and played in Greenwich Village clubs in New York at 17.

According to NBC news, a documentary of his career, “José Feliciano — Behind This Guitar,” will be released on Sept. 29 on Peacock. The film was executive produced by Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana and Rudy Pérez.

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