José Feliciano will receive the first-ever Billboard Legend Award at the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards, Telemundo and Billboard announced on Wednesday (September 21). The special award was created to honor artists whose careers and personalities are “larger than life,” according to a press release. “A person whose contribution to music makes him a household name and who maintains a career that has stood the test of time.”
Feliciano, known for his bilingual Christmas classic “Feliz Navidad,” will be recognized at the awards ceremony, which will take place on Thursday, September 29 at Watsco Canter in Miami and will be broadcast live on Telemundo starting at 7 p.m. ET. . The Billboard Latin Music Awards – where Bad Bunny tops the shortlist with a staggering 23 nominations in 13 categories – will air simultaneously on Telemundo, Universo, Peacock, the Telemundo app and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo International.
From San Juan, Puerto Rico, Feliciano – who was born blind – started playing the accordion and accordion at the age of 6. Then he studied guitar with Harold Morris and by the age of 17 he was playing clubs in Greenwich Village. He recorded his first album in 1964 when he was 19 years old and since then the virtuoso performer has recorded more than 60 albums. More recently, Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” celebrated its 50th anniversary, and to this day it remains one of the top 10 hits in the decade-plus history of BillboardThe Holiday 100 chart from.
His special prize coincides with the September 29 release of his documentary José Feliciano – Behind this guitar about Peacock in the United States The documentary, which chronicles the artist’s 60-year career, is produced and directed by Helen Murphy, Frank Licari and co-directed by Khoa Le. The film is produced by Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana and Rudy Perez.
As has been the case for over 20 years, the Billboard Latin Music Awards coincide with BillboardThe annual Latin Music Week, the largest and most important gathering of the Latin music industry, runs from September 26 to October 26. 1. Latin Music Week will feature panels, conversations and workshops at Faena Forum, plus exclusive performances and fan experiences throughout the week in Miami.
Artists confirmed to speak at Latin Music Week so far include Chayanne, Maluma, Grupo Firme, Camilo, Ivy Queen, Romeo Santos and Nicky Jam, among many others. It will also feature the launch of Billboard Español, Billboard‘s new entirely Spanish site. To register and get information about Billboard Latin Music Week, go to billboardlatinmusicweek.com.