Feliz Navidad (song)

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"Feliz Navidad"
Single by José Feliciano
from the album Feliz Navidad
Released 1970
Recorded 1970
Genre
Label RCA
Songwriter(s) José Feliciano
Audio sample

"Feliz Navidad" ([feˈlis naβiˈðað])[a] is a macaronic Christmas song written in 1970 by the Puerto Rican singer and songwriter José Feliciano.[1] 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.[2] It was also recognized by ASCAP as one of the top 25 most played and recorded Christmas songs around the world.[3]

The original José Feliciano version of the song first charted on the US 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 US Billboard Hot 100 on the chart dated the week of January 7, 2017 reaching number 44.[4]

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.[citation needed]

Other notable recordings[edit]

"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, The Cheetah Girls, Billy T. James, Luciano Pavarotti, El Vez, Walk off the Earth, Indonesian female group 7icons, Garth Brooks, Chicago and Laura Pausini. Additionally, Charo performed the song in the Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special.[citation needed]

"Feliz Navidad" was covered by Finnish symphonic metal artist Tarja Turunen in 2017, for her Christmas album From Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas). On December 6, 2017, a music video was released for the solo version of the song.[5] A special version was released as a single on December 8, featuring Turunen's musician friends Michael Monroe, Doro Pesch, Tony Kakko, Elize Ryd, Marko Saaresto, Timo Kotipelto, Simone Simons, Cristina Scabbia, Joe Lynn Turner, Floor Jansen, Hansi Kursch, and Sharon den Adel. The ensemble version was released as a benefit single and was aimed to earn profits for helping the Hurricane Irma victims at the Caribbean island of Barbuda.[6]

Parody[edit]

In December 2009 a parody of "Feliz Navidad" entitled "The Illegal Alien Christmas Song" was created by radio producers Matt Fox and A. J. Rice and posted on the website for Human Events, a Washington-based weekly publication. The parody, sung in English, played on the stereotype of Mexican immigrants as heavy drinkers and that illegal immigrants were going to "spread bubonic plague".

Feliciano released a statement on December 23 on his official website:

"This song has always been a bridge to the cultures that are so dear to me, never as a vehicle for a political platform of racism and hate. It's disgusting and my only wish that my song and I are distanced from the whole affair as soon as possible."[7]

In a statement to the Associated Press the same day, Jed Babbin, Human Events site editor, apologized for "any offense that Mr. Feliciano may have taken from this parody" and removed it from the site.[8]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1970–2018) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[9] 99
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[10] 27
Brazil (Hot 100 Airplay)[11] 102
Denmark (Tracklisten)[12] 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[13] 21
Ireland [14] 54
Italy (FIMI)[15] 66
Netherlands [16] 30
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 4
Slovenia (SloTop50)[18] 34
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[19] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 21
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 78
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 44

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Feliz Navidad - José Feliciano - Song Info - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 December 2017. 
  2. ^ Billboard Staff (November 25, 2016). "What Are the Top-Selling Holiday Songs?". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ "ASCAP Tallies THE Top 25 Christmas Songs". Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Billboard Hot 100: JANUARY 7, 2017". Billboard. 
  5. ^ "TARJA Releases Video For Solo Version Of 'Feliz Navidad'". Blabbermouth.net. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017. 
  6. ^ "Tarja Turunen Lines Up All-Star Cast for 'Feliz Navidad' Cover". Loudwire.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017. 
  7. ^ Jose Feliciano Official Site - OFFICIAL STATEMENT. Josefeliciano.com. Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  8. ^ "Human Events Removes Racist Song, Apologizes to José Feliciano". Rightwingwatch.org. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Australian-charts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  10. ^ "Austriancharts.at – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  11. ^ "José Feliciano – Chart history" Brasil Hot 100 Airplay for José Feliciano.
  12. ^ "Danishcharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Tracklisten.
  13. ^ "Swisscharts.com – JOSÉ FELICIANO – FELIZ NAVIDAD". Swiss Singles Chart.
  14. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/irish-singles-chart
  15. ^ "Italiancharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Top Digital Download.
  16. ^ http://dutchcharts.nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Jos%E9+Feliciano&titel=Feliz+Navidad&cat=s
  17. ^ "Charts.nz – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ "SloTop50 – Slovenian official singles chart". slotop50.si. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  19. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad" Canciones Top 50.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Singles Top 100.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Swiss Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Jose Feliciano: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  23. ^ "José Feliciano Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Feliz by itself is pronounced [feˈliθ] or [feˈlis]; final d in Navidad is usually dropped: [naβiˈða].