Christmas has come early this year. Puerto Rican legend José Feliciano is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his timeless holiday hit “Feliz Navidad” with a new children’s book.
José Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad, 50th Anniversary was released exclusively to Amazon yesterday to also mark the singer-songwriter’s 75th birthday. Feliciano is portrayed as a musical superhero flying around the world in a red convertible on Christmas Eve – all while performing “Feliz Navidad.” The book was written by Helen Murphy, the CEO of Feliciano’s label Anthem Records.
“José Feliciano is a national treasure,” Murphy said in a statement. “I was inspired to write this book to share the joy and celebrate the cultural impact that José’s music, and ‘Feliz Navidad’ in particular, has had on the world. The song has an undeniable emotional effect every time it is heard. José Feliciano’s ability to persevere through adversity and continue creating hits decade after decade is nothing short of incredible.”
“Feliz Navidad” was released in November 1970 and it’s arguably Latin music’s first global crossover hit. The song is a rare Spanish-language addition to the Christmas pop canon with recurring popularity every holiday season. Last December, Feliciano’s classic peaked at No. 12 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Feliciano also announced a documentary about his life that will premiere at the virtual Nashville Film Festival next month (Oct. 1-7). Murphy had a hand in producing and directing José Feliciano: Behind the Guitar. Latin music icons Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan, and Emilio Estefan will appear in the film to talk about the impact of Feliciano’s musical legacy.