There’s never a wrong time to sing to “Feliz Navidad,” especially in December. José Feliciano appeared on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,’ to perform the Latine Christmas classic on Monday (Dec. 7). The Puerto Rican icon celebrated 50 years of “Feliz Navidad.”
With the release of the children’s book José Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad back in September, the singer-songwriter kicked off his song’s 50th anniversary celebration. Last month, he also released a new version of “Feliz Navidad” on Amazon Music with 30 artists, including CNCO, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Jon Secada.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve been singing ‘Feliz Navidad’ for 50 years,” Feliciano said in a statement. “When I wrote the song, I was touring non-stop and missing my family and Christmas traditions in Puerto Rico. I am overwhelmed with the generosity of spirit and passion that all my friends have put into this track and I am grateful that this song continues to bring joy and unify people around the world.”
Feliciano appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform the new version of “Feliz Navidad” solo. “Hey Jimmy, it’s Jose!” he said. “Feliz navidad! I’m taking over the show.” With his festive backing band, Feliciano’s live performance sounded like the popular recording released 50 years ago. It’s not Christmas in a Latine household without playing his jovial classic. It was great seeing the rocker be able to transmit the feel good vibe of “Feliz Navidad” to millions of homes last night.
On this week’s Billboard Holiday Songs chart, Feliciano’s original version of “Feliz Navidad” is at No. 5. He will host a special live stream concert on Dec. 20 in support of the song’s 50th anniversary.