Feliz Navidad (song)

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"Feliz Navidad"
Single by José Feliciano
from the album Feliz Navidad
Released1970
Recorded1970
Genre
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)José Feliciano
Producer(s)Rick Jarrard
Audio sample
"Feliz Navidad"

"Feliz Navidad" ([feˈlis naβiˈðað])[a] is a 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.

History[edit]

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]

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] During the 2018 Christmas season, the song re-charted and became Feliciano's first top 40 hit on the Hot 100 since 1968.[5][6]

Other recordings[edit]

"Feliz Navidad", like many Christmas songs, has been recorded by many artists. These include the American pop band, Why Don't We, Boney M, Mexican operatic tenor Rolando Villazon, 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, Australian children's music group The Wiggles, Indonesian female group 7icons, Garth Brooks, Chicago, Laura Pausini and British band Shame. Additionally, Charo performed the song in the Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special.[citation needed]

The K-pop girl group GFRIEND performed the song in December, 2016, on a special performance broadcast by channel MBC.

"Feliz Navidad" was recorded 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.[7] 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 Kürsch, 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.[8]

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."[9]

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.[10]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1970–2019) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[11] 17
Brazil (Hot 100 Airplay)[12] 102
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 26
Denmark (Tracklisten)[14] 37
Germany (Official German Charts)[15] 19
Hungary (Single Top 40)[16] 21
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[17] 25
Ireland (IRMA)[18] 49
Italy (FIMI)[19] 34
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[20] 29
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[21] 4
Portugal (AFP)[22] 52
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[23] 45
Slovenia (SloTop50)[24] 28
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[25] 66
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[26] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[27] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[28] 77
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 29
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[30] 1

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. ^ Trust, Gary (2018-12-25). "John Lennon & Paul McCartney Holiday Classics Hit Hot 100 at Last, Among 20 Seasonal Songs on the Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  6. ^ Trust, Gary (2019-01-01). "Elvis Presley Earns Highest-Charting Billboard Hot 100 Hit Since 1981 as 'Blue Christmas' Jingles In at No. 40". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  7. ^ "TARJA Releases Video For Solo Version Of 'Feliz Navidad'". Blabbermouth.net. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Tarja Turunen Lines Up All-Star Cast for 'Feliz Navidad' Cover". Loudwire.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  9. ^ Jose Feliciano Official Site - OFFICIAL STATEMENT. Josefeliciano.com. Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  10. ^ "Singer Feliciano protests 'Feliz Navidad' parody". boston.com. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  12. ^ "José Feliciano – Chart history" Brasil Hot 100 Airplay for José Feliciano.[dead link]
  13. ^ "Jose Feliciano Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Danishcharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Tracklisten. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  18. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Top Singoli – Classifica settimanale WK 52" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Charts.nz – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  24. ^ "SloTop50 – Slovenian official singles chart". slotop50.si. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  26. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Swisscharts.com – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  28. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Jose Feliciano Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Jose Feliciano Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 27, 2018.

Notes[edit]

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