José Luis Rodríguez (singer)

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José Luis Rodríguez
El Puma in concert
Rodríguez in 2020
Background information
Birth nameJosé Luis Rodríguez Gónzalez
Also known as
  • El Puma
  • El Capitán
  • El Grande
Born (1943-01-14) 14 January 1943 (age 81)
Caracas, Venezuela
  • Singer
  • record producer
  • actor
  • entrepreneur
Years active1961–present

José Luis Rodríguez González, nicknamed El Puma (Cougar) (Spanish pronunciation: [xoseˈlwis roˈðɾiɣes]; January 14, 1943), is a Venezuelan singer and actor who is known for having recorded many international super hits and participated in a handful of telenovelas. He has also served as a coach and mentor on the Peruvian, Argentinian, and Chilean versions of The Voice, as well as a judge on The X Factor Chile.

Life and career[edit]

José Luis Rodríguez was born in Caracas, Venezuela to José Antonio Rodríguez from the Canary Islands, Spain and Ana González a Venezuelan housewife. He lost his father at the age of six, and was raised by his mother (an illiterate then, learned to read as an adult to read the Bible) along with 11 brothers and sisters. He grew up in very modest conditions, having to shine shoes, and pack bags in a supermarket for a living at an early age. Without an academic formation, he shaped himself as a singer and actor by empirical means.

As his mother participated in the revolt against Marcos Pérez Jiménez (holding weapons and hiding politicians in her home), Rodríguez lived in exile in Ecuador with her and his brother, for a couple of years.

In 1974, Rodriguez was selected by Venevision to represent Venezuela in the third edition of the prestigious OTI Festival which was held in the Mexican city of Acapulco. There, his entry, the song "Vuélvete" (Return) found a warm reception, therefore gaining recognition for his country by winning the third-place prize with 11 points.

Rodríguez surfaced in his homeland in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and was able to build a fan base there. He also participated in a famous commercial, along with his family during that time, for Ace detergents.[1] Rodríguez went to Puerto Rico, where he participated in the Telenovela Cristina Bazán, alongside Johanna Rosaly and young Adamari López. It was there that he received his nickname, El Puma. Later, he also made the telenovela, El ídolo, with Cuban actress Marilyn Pupo, playing Omar Contreras (a.k.a. El Puma).

Rodríguez's main money revenue, however, was his singing career. His hits included Dueño de nada, Pavo real and Agárrense de las manos. With the second, he caused controversy at the 1982 contest of Miss Universe, which was being held in Lima, Peru; the song's main issue was interracial marriage.

Later, Rodríguez participated in the Latin American Spanish version of Meet the Robinsons, La Familia del Futuro, as Wilbur Robinson's father. El Puma also starred in an advertising campaign for Wrigley's Eclipse gum,[2] with the spot drawing on his persona, using humor and kitsch to highlight the tagline, "Libera el Puma que hay en tí" (Free the puma within). Another commercial that drew on his puma persona during that era was one for Snickers chocolate bars.[3]

In May 2009, Rodriguez joined the cast of the miniseries, Gabriel, produced for the Hispanic audience in the United States by Megafilms and transmitted by Mega TV. The miniseries, released in November of the same year is based on the themes of vampirism and occultism.[4]

In July 2012, he was a judge and voice trainer on La Voz... Argentina (Argentine version of The Voice) that was broadcast on Telefe.[5] Along with co-presenters Fernán Martínez and Carolina Ramírez, he served as a judge on a dance program called La Pista which was aired on Caracol TV in Colombia. In the same year he also made a cameo appearance in the film, Casa de mi Padre, starring Will Ferrell.

In August 2013, Rodríguez was part of the first season of La Voz Perú, where he was coach for one of the four teams. On December 20, one of his pupils, young Daniel Lazo, placed first in the competition, making Rodríguez the first winning coach in the history of La Voz Perú.[6][7]

In September 2013 in an interview with the Peruvian newspaper, La República, Rodríguez expressed that he would continue to perform music but cease to produce records because of piracy.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

Rodríguez was married to Lila Morillo from 1966 to 1986. They are the parents of actresses Lilibeth Morillo and Liliana Rodríguez. Rodríguez fathered Génesis Rodríguez with Cuban-born model Carolina Pérez, whom he ultimately married in 1997.


He underwent a double lung transplant due to pulmonary fibrosis in December 2017.[10]

Select album discography[edit]

  • 1963: 2 Sets Con Billo
  • 1964: Billo En Colombia
  • 1964: Billo En Santo Domingo
  • 1964: Cantares De Navidad
  • 1964: Billo En Puerto Rico
  • 1965: El Yo-Yo
  • 1965: Billo Y Su Música
  • 1965: Fin de Año
  • 1965: Mosaico 17
  • 1966: La Renga
  • 1966: Anoche no dormí
  • 1966: De 1937 a 1966 Bailando con Billo
  • 1966: Felices Fiestas
  • 1967: Se necesitan dos
  • 1974: Mi Fe
  • 1975: Los Temas De Mis Telenovelas
  • 1976: Una Nueva Canción
  • 1977: Una Canción De España (TH/Top Hits)
  • 1977: Jose Luis De América
  • 1979: Voy A Perder La Cabeza
  • 1980: Atrévete
  • 1980: Cantando Éxitos De Siempre (Discos CBS International)
  • 1982: La Historia Del Idolo
  • 1982: Dueño De Nada
  • 1983: Ven CBS Columbia
  • 1984: Voy A Conquistarte (Discos CBS International)
  • 1984: Due Come Noi (Discos CBS International)
  • 1985: El Último Beso (Discos CBS International)
  • 1987: Señor Corazón
  • 1988: Con El Mariachi Vargas
  • 1989: Tengo Derecho A Ser Feliz
  • 1989: Las 15 Grandes De El Puma
  • 1990: Serie De Colección
  • 1990: 12 Grandes Éxitos
  • 1990: Esta Vez
  • 1990: Senora Bonita
  • 1991: El Puma En Ritmo
  • 1992: Piel de Hombre
  • 1993: Querido Puma
  • 1994: Razones Para Una Sonrisa
  • 1995: Boleros De Siempre Con José Luis Rodríguez
  • 1996: Llamada Del Amor
  • 1996: Joyas Musicales
  • 1996: Lo Mejor De José Luis Rodríguez
  • 1997: Que Quiere Esa Musica Esta Noche
  • 1997: Inólvidable
  • 1999: En Ritmo 2: Fiesta
  • 2000: Serie Millennium 21
  • 2000: Mis 30 Mejores
  • 2001: Inolvidable, Vol. 3
  • 2002: Mis 30 Mejores Canciones Con Los Panchos
  • 2002: Champagne
  • 2002: Serie De Autores, Vol. 1: Manuel Alejandro
  • 2002: Serie De Autores, Vol. 3: P. Herrero y J.L. Armenteros
  • 2002: Serie De Autores, Vol. 4: Chema Puron
  • 2002: Serie De Autores, Vol. 5 Chema Puron
  • 2002: Mujer
  • 2004: Mi Historia
  • 2005: Distancia
  • 2005: Sabor A México
  • 2005: Mis 30 Mejores Canciones
  • 2006: Canciones De Amor
  • 2006: Ayer Y Hoy
  • 2006: 15 Éxitos
  • 2007: Trópico
  • 2007: Homenaje a José Alfredo Jiménez
  • 2008: Interpreta A Manuel Alejandro
  • 2009: Los Grandes Del Amor
  • 2009: Mi Amigo El Puma
  • 2017: Inmenso


Reality shows[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "LILA MORILLO, JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ EL PUMA Y LILIANA RODRIGUEZ MORILLO EN UNA CUNA AÑO 70 DE ACE.avi". YouTube.
  2. ^ El Puma en Cotorreando on YouTube
  3. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "SNICKERS - José Luis Rodríguez 'El Puma' (Perú 2012)". YouTube.
  4. ^ ""El Puma" se une al elenco de esperada miniserie". 13 May 2008. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Lo pensé dos segundos y dije que sí". Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  6. ^ ""La Voz": 'El Puma', Kalimba, Jerry Rivera y Eva Ayllón serán los entrenadores". El Comercio. 8 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Daniel Lazo es el flamante ganador de "La voz Perú"". 21 December 2013.
  8. ^ López Gonzales, Janet (18 September 2013). "José Luis Rodríguez: "Sigo vigente en los escenarios"". La República. Archived from the original on 19 September 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  9. ^ ""El Puma" dice que no graba discos por culpa de la piratería". El Espectador. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  10. ^ El Puma se somete a un doble trasplante de pulmón en Miami
  11. ^ González, Moisés (14 March 2024). "Celebridades confirmadas para Top Chef VIP 3". People en Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 March 2024.

External links[edit]