Saturday, April 19, 2014

Salsa singer 'Cheo' Feliciano died

Die salsa singer 'Cheo' Feliciano
April 17, 2014
7:25 a.m. ET

Die salsa singer 'Cheo' Feliciano

(CNN Spanish) - Puerto Rican singer Jose "Cheo" Feliciano, one of the greatest performers of salsa music died this morning in a tragic accident in Puerto Rico, as confirmed by the police.
The sudden death of 'Cheo' Feliciano came during a traffic accident, where the singer allegedly lost control of his vehicle, a Jaguar, and hit a power line pole in Cupey.
The governor of Puerto Rico Alejandro García Padilla decreed three days of mourning for the death of one of his biggest musical badges.
"Puerto Rico today lost one of its most acclaimed voices with the sad news of the death of singer Cheo Feliciano. Wilma and I joined the pain of his wife Coco, his sons and artistic class. Pray to receive comfort and strength they need during this process. Cheo Feliciano Rest in peace, "said the governor.
The tragic accident occurred at 4:13 am in the PR-176 near Metropolitan University, according to the police report. José Luis Feliciano Vega was traveling alone.
What is the best song of Cheo Feliciano?
"The impact was strong against the immovable object. Unfortunately, Feliciano had no seatbelts, "said Jorge Hernández Peña inspector reporters.
"(Apparently) lost control on the curve that was taking and struck a fixed object. Unfortunately this is our Cheo Feliciano. We have a driver who was not wearing a seat belt. His skull gave the front glass," said police officer.
At the scene of the singer's son, José Enrique Feliciano, who looked surprised and touched by the event arrived, but he had words of praise for his father before his unexpected death.
"Daddy is for life, because he has left us his music, his heart, his people, his people ... 'Family' as daddy said. Thankfully, we have his music to remember him," said Jose Enrique , who noted that his father may have fallen asleep at the wheel of the car.
Ana María Martínez Fiscal investigates the scene by the police.
Venezuelan singer Oscar D'León recalled, very movingly, the moments shared with the legendary Puerto Rican salsa singer.
Feliciano Vega, born in Ponce, made great musical hits like "Anacaona", "Beloved", "Mouse", "My sad problem", "Pa 'that afinquen" and "If it rains for me."
Cheo Feliciano performs "Beloved"

Cheo Feliciano, Debonair Salsa Singer, Dies at 78 - NYT

Cheo Feliciano, Debonair Salsa Singer, Dies at 78

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Cheo Feliciano, a leading salsa singer renowned for both his love songs and his upbeat improvisations, died in an automobile accident on Thursday in San Juan, P.R. He was 78.
He was killed when the car in which he was driving alone ran into a light post, the police told The Associated Press. He was not wearing a seatbelt, they said.
A handsome and debonair baritone, Mr. Feliciano overcame drug addiction and became a celebrity in Puerto Rico and in the larger community of Latin music. He was equally impressive as a sonero — a singer who can improvise rhymes and melodies over Afro-Caribbean dance rhythms — and a romantic crooner, delivering suave, smoldering boleros.  
During the 1970s he became a major star of salsa (the name was used by American marketers as a catchall for various Latin rhythms) when he recorded for the New York label Fania. His first solo album, “Cheo,” included songs that became his signatures: “Anacaona” and “Mi Triste Problema.”  
“He was an icon, beloved by the females,” Joe Conzo Sr., a music historian and a longtime friend of Mr. Feliciano, said in an interview on Thursday. “His boleros, they had the women swooning.”
Mr. Feliciano spent several years in the late ’50s and early ’60s singing, in both Spanish and English, with the Joe Cuba Sextet, a popular ensemble that helped introduce Latin music to a mainstream American audience.  He also recorded with top Latin bandleaders including Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente, and he was a longtime member of the Fania All-Stars, the group organized by Fania Records that included virtually all the major figures of salsa’s ’70s heyday.  
In 1973, Mr. Feliciano was with the Fania All-Stars when they performed at Yankee Stadium. A 1975 album of that concert, “Live at Yankee Stadium,” was inducted into the Library of Congress’s national registry of recordings that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically important.”
In 2008, at the Latin Grammy Awards, Mr. Feliciano was honored for lifetime achievement. The same year, he celebrated 50 years in music with a concert at Madison Square Garden, a performance reviewed by Jon Pareles, the chief pop music critic for The Times.
“Mr. Feliciano, who turns 73 on July 3, is still a formidable singer at any speed,” Mr. Pareles wrote. “His baritone voice sounds richly assured, even when he sings, as he often does, about the pains of love. Backed with the rumbas and guaguancós of salsa dura (hard salsa), he is a sonero who volleys percussive syllables and improvised rhymes over the beat. Easing the tempo back to bolero, he is an equally skillful romantic crooner steeped in Latin ballads, with a touch of Sinatra, who’s suave yet still rhythmically unpredictable. Guests joined Mr. Feliciano for duets, some improvising their own rhymes of praise for him. None outsang him.”
 Cheo Feliciano was born José Luis Feliciano Vega in Ponce, P.R., on July 3, 1935. His father was a carpenter, and the family was poor but musical. Young Cheo (a common nickname for José), who received some rudimentary musical education in a government-sponsored school, was initially a percussionist and established his first group before he was 10, calling it El Combo Las Latas — the Can Combo — because they made their instruments out of tin cans.
“Everything happening around us had to do in some way with music,” Mr. Feliciano said in an interview in 2000 with the website El Combo Las Latas, he added, “was all kids, but at that very early age we understood about percussion, melody and singing.”
When Cheo was a teenager his family moved to New York City, where he played congas and would sing when a group needed a vocalist. He met well-known musicians after he registered as a percussionist at the musician’s union, and he served as a band boy — a kind of errand boy and valet — to several of them, including the bandleader Tito Rodríguez, who gave young Cheo his first chance to perform in public.
Mr. Feliciano became addicted to heroin in the ’60s and by the end of the decade was forced to suspend his singing career. He returned to Puerto Rico, where he entered a program, known asHogar CREA, to treat his drug dependency.
He spent three years in self-imposed retirement, and when he felt he was ready he initiated his comeback, signing with Fania. Over the next decades he made dozens of recordings, for Fania and other companies, and toured throughout Latin America and Europe...