Feliz Navidad (song)
|Single by José Feliciano|
|from the album Feliz Navidad|
"Feliz Navidad" ([feˈlis naβiˈðað])[a] is a macaronic Christmas song written in 1970 by the Puerto Rican singer and songwriter José Feliciano. With its simple Spanish chorus (the traditional Christmas/New Year greeting, "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" meaning "Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness") and equally simple English verse "I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart", it has become a classic Christmas pop song in the United States, throughout the Spanish-speaking world and internationally.
Feliciano's 1970 recording of "Feliz Navidad" (in which he plays both an acoustic guitar and a Puerto Rican cuatro) is one of the most downloaded and aired Christmas songs in the United States and Canada. As of November 25, 2016, total sales of the digital track stand at 808,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan, placing it eighth on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday digital singles in SoundScan history. It was also recognized by ASCAP as one of the top 25 most played and recorded Christmas songs around the world.
The original Jose Feliciano version of the song first charted on the Billboard Hot 100 more than two decades after it was first recorded reaching number 70 on the week ending January 10, 1998. The song later returned to the Billboard Hot 100 on the chart dated the week of January 7, 2017 reaching number 44.
On the popular 1970 recording by Feliciano, the drummer is Paulinho Magalhaes. The addition of the horns as a final touch was the idea of record producer Rick Jarrard.
Other notable recordings
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"Feliz Navidad," like many Christmas songs, has been frequently covered. Notable artists who have recorded the song include Boney M, Michael Bublé featuring Thalía, Glee Cast, Il Volo featuring Belinda, Celine Dion, Clay Walker, David Hasselhoff, Sea of Bees, The Cheetah Girls, Billy T. James, Luciano Pavarotti, El Vez, Walk off the Earth, Indonesian female group 7icons, Garth Brooks and Laura Pausini. Additionally, Charo performed the song in the Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special.
In 1997, Bob Rivers released the album More Twisted Christmas, which included a drunk driving-themed parody of "Feliz Navidad" called "Police Stop My Car." There is also a Dutch version about a stolen bicycle.
In 2016, the cable television network IFC recorded a parody called "Police Navidad" to promote a cop-movie marathon.