Jose Feliciano Net Worth (Updated 2023)

What is Jose Feliciano’s Net Worth?

Jose Feliciano, a renowned composer and guitarist, has a net worth of $8 million. Hailing from Puerto Rico, he is a versatile musician, singer, and composer known for his international hits, such as his rendition of the Doors’ “Light My Fire” and the self-penned Christmas classic “Feliz Navidad.”

Feliciano’s music spans various genres, including Latin, blues, jazz, soul, and rock, all skillfully blended with his distinctive acoustic guitar sound. In the 1960s, he gained popularity in the United States, especially after his 1968 album “Feliciano!” reached the second spot on the music charts. Throughout his career, he has released over fifty albums worldwide in both English and Spanish languages.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:


Jose Feliciano

Net Worth:

$8 Million

Date of Birth:

Sep 10, 1945


$1 Million Per Year

Source of Wealth:

Singer, Musician, Composer, Guitarist, Actor

Learn more: richest singers in the world

Early Life and Family

José Montserrate Feliciano Garcia, born on September 10, 1945, in Lares, Puerto Rico, was the fourth of eleven children and was blind due to congenital glaucoma. He was introduced to music at the age of three while accompanying his uncle on a makeshift instrument.

At seven, he taught himself to play the accordion, and by nine, he received his first guitar from his father. He dedicated up to 14 hours a day to playing the guitar, drawing inspiration from 1950s rock and roll, classical guitarists, and jazz musicians like Andrés Segovia and Wes Montgomery. He also took classical guitar lessons from Harold Morris, who had studied under Segovia.

In his teenage years, Feliciano was influenced by soul music, particularly Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. At 17, he left high school to support his family and began performing in Greenwich Village coffee houses, relying on audience donations. His first professional contract came when he played at The Retort, a Detroit coffee house.

Jose Feliciano Net Worth


Career in the 1960s

In the 1960s, José Feliciano’s career took off as he gained recognition across the United States and Canada. He was discovered in 1963 while performing at Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village and signed by RCA Victor. One notable moment was when he did an impression of Bob Dylan in front of Dylan himself. In 1964, his debut single, “Everybody Do the Click,” became a hit in the Philippines, and he was invited to perform at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival.

Feliciano’s journey continued in 1966 when he visited Argentina and impressed RCA Victor executives. This led to the recording of bolero music infused with blues and folk influences, resulting in hits like “Poquita Fe” and “Usted.” His innovative style revolutionized bolero music in Latin America and Hispanic communities in the United States.

Challenges and Controversy in the Late 1960s

In 1967, Feliciano faced a challenge when authorities in the United Kingdom wouldn’t allow his guide dog, Trudy, into the country. This experience inspired him to write the song “No Dogs Allowed,” which became a hit in the Netherlands.

Another significant moment in 1968 was Feliciano’s controversial rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the World Series. Some perceived it as disrespectful, but Feliciano explained it was meant to draw attention to the anthem. This performance even charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Career in the 1970s and Beyond

As the 1970s began, Feliciano released a Christmas album featuring the famous song “Feliz Navidad.” It became a timeless holiday classic. In 1971, he participated in the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy, earning second place and acclaim from the Italian audience.

Feliciano continued his career by composing theme songs, guest-starring in TV shows, and collaborating with renowned artists. He released “Affirmation,” a notable instrumental composition, in 1975.

In the 1980s, he briefly joined Motown, recording English-language albums. His Spanish album “Escenas de Amor” received a Grammy nomination, followed by “Me Enamoré,” which achieved even greater success.

In subsequent decades, Feliciano’s career thrived. He received the Grammy Legend Award in 2000 and recorded various albums, including a tribute to Elvis Presley. He continued to perform, even at the Vatican and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

His golden anniversary in 2018 marked 50 years since his RCA recording of “Feliciano!” He celebrated with a special event in Puerto Rico and presented his iconic Candelas guitar to the Smithsonian Museum.

Throughout his career, Feliciano remained a prolific and influential artist, leaving an indelible mark on the music world.

Personal Life

José Feliciano has been married twice. His first marriage was to Janna (née Hilda Pérez) in 1970, but they divorced in 1978.

In 1971, Ernie Harwell introduced Feliciano to Susan Omillian, a young art student from Detroit, with whom he had originally crossed paths during his controversial rendition of the National Anthem in 1968.

After dating for 11 years, José Feliciano and Susan Omillian tied the knot in 1982. They are now the proud parents of two sons and one daughter, and they currently call Weston, Connecticut, their home.

Parody Controversy

In December 2009, a parody of “Feliz Navidad” called “The Illegal Alien Christmas Song” was created by radio producers Matt Fox and A. J. Rice. They posted it on the website of Human Events, an American conservative political platform. This parody, sung in English, unfortunately played on racial stereotypes, portraying Mexican immigrants as heavy drinkers and suggesting that illegal immigrants might spread bubonic plague.

José Feliciano responded to this controversy on December 23 with a statement on his official website:

“My song has always been a bridge to cultures that are close to my heart, never as a means to promote racism or hatred. It’s deeply disturbing, and I wish to distance myself and my song from this incident as soon as possible.”

On the same day, Jed Babbin, the editor of the Human Events site, issued an apology to José Feliciano through a statement to the Associated Press and promptly removed the parody from the website.


José Feliciano has received numerous accolades throughout his career, showcasing his outstanding contributions to music:

  1. In his hometown of Ponce, he is honored with a place in the Illustrious Ponce Citizens Plaza within the Parque del Tricentenario.

  2. In 1996, he was recognized with the prestigious El Premio Billboard award.

  3. The Latin music community celebrated him with the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, acknowledging his lasting impact on the industry.

  4. In 2000, he was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame, cementing his status as a Latin music legend.

  5. His songwriting talent earned him a place in the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, further solidifying his legacy in the world of music.

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