Over the years, decades now, really, Jose Feliciano has been honored by so many around the world who have been touched by his music, talent and charisma.
Jose's very first Award, or Accolade so to speak, was presented to him at the age of 9 when his school teacher, Miss Edna O'Brien, had recognized him with some little gold stars for his impressive performance during their school-district's touring production of "Johnny Apple Seed."
Since that humble commendation, Jose Feliciano has been honored with 9 GRAMMY AWARDS, including a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Award by LARAS, the Latin Grammy; A STAR on HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD'S WALK OF FAME; the Dutch EDISON MUSIC AWARD; el PRIMEO ASCAP for Feliz Navidad; an induction into the GRAMMY HALL OF FAME and the LATIN MUSIC HALL OF FAME; a school in New York City renamed, THE JOSE FELICIANO SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS; an OFTA FILM AWARD for BEST MUSIC, ADAPTED SONG for "El Tango de Roxanne" in MOULIN ROUGE; an Induction into the INTERNATIONAL LATIN MUSIC HALL OF FAME and the LATIN SONGWRITER'S HALL OF FAME, a KNIGHTHOOD in the EQUESTRIAN ORDER OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER; a DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS from Sacred Heart University; Guitar Player Magazine's BEST POP GUITARIST and their GALLERY OF THE GREATS awards as well as BILLBOARD MAGAZINE'S LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD; the NATIONAL GUITAR MUSEUM AWARD for LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT; an inclusion of his iconic rendition of the NATIONAL ANTHEM into the BASEBALL HALL OF FAME in Cooperstown; dozens of GOLD and PLATINUM RECORDS and DISCS from around the world and one of this most special, THE HELEN KELLER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD to, in all honesty, name just a scant few.
We bring this to your attention only to somewhat illustrate the impact Jose has had on the culture of pop music both in English and in Spanish, around the world. He continues to do so into his seventh decade (seventh decade?) and continues to be honored -- three times alone, in this past month!
As a devoted baseball enthusiast from Puerto Rico, Jose remembers with great sadness the tragic passing of Baseball Hall of Famer, Roberto Clemente. On New Year's Eve in1972, Roberto's plane in which he was delivering supplies to victims of a massive earthquake in Nicaragua, crashed. All were lost.
Each year since his passing, MLB has honored an outstanding individual who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team." Despite the tight qualifications, Jose's respect for Roberto caused him to dream that one day that honor would be his...then he'd wake up to realize, he's not even a professional ball player! So it was with particulate dismay that he was invited to receive the award based, instead, on those attributes within his own world -- that of a global ambassador of music. On September 16th in New York City, Jose was honored by MLB and The Roberto Clemente Foundation to which he acknowledged: "When I was told I'd been chosen to receive the Roberto Clemente Award, this dream of mine from 40 years ago, I was afraid that I was dreaming, still. I hope always to live up to the ideals of Roberto Clemente, my Hero."
Just two weeks later, Jose accepted what he learned was the first-ever BILLBOARD LEGENDS AWARD to be given to him during their broadcast from Miami. A special award, it was created with Feliciano in mind to honor artists going forward like Jose whose career and personality are larger than life. Jose Feliciano is clearly a man whose Life is continuing to prove to be that, and so much more... "I've always wanted to share my music with others everywhere. I am living that dream and appreciate the gift they give me everyday, in return."
Then, invited to return to Florida where, on October 13th, Jose accepted the third in his trifecta of accolades which possibly, was the very cherry on top: The Latin Music Songwriters Hall of Fame and the La MUSA Award for FELIZ NAVIDAD: Canción de Todos los Tiempos: THE SONG OF ALL TIME" which he respectfully shares with his brother and producer, Rick Jarrard, at whose insistence Jose composed Feliz Navidad for a Christmas album they were working on together, in 1970. "Thank you for pushing me into it Rick, you knew that there was something there when you told me I should write a 'new song' for the album.' Maybe I didn't agree with you but I trusted you. I always did. I miss you everyday."