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The crowning of a prince

Flashback Friday

It’s a rarity to be able to pinpoint the exact moment in which a legend is born. For example, for Michael Jackson, it can be argued that it occurred at any point between his early years as a member of the Jackson 5 and his debut as a solo artist. For others it takes years of topping the charts and selling out arenas. For Jose Jose it was this very performance that launched him from obscurity to sudden stardom in the span of five minutes.

It was March 13, 1970 at the Latin Music Festival in Mexico City, where a 23 year old unassuming young man would take the stage and put on a dynamic and historic performance that would blow away the audience and direct the attention of the Latin music community to the man who was soon to become “El Principe de la Cancion” (The Prince of Song). Present within the audience were big names within the recording industry, artists, executives, all of which were blown away by the performance, many of which could not contain themselves and rushed the stage to congratulate the young artist.

Incredibly and to much of the audience’s displeasure, Jose Jose won third place at the festival (first place went to Claudia, a singer from Brazil). Though he may have only won third place, this one performance not only legitimized Jose Jose as an artist, but looking back at this particular performance it was also the moment in which a legend was born.

This song, originally written by Mexican Composer Roberto Cantoral, has had many renditions since Jose Jose’s debut, from Placido Domingo, Joan Baez, Cristian Castro, and most recently Marc Anthony in his Iconos album, but none will compare to the powerful performance that shot Jose Jose to legendary status and turned out to be the crowning of “El Principe de La Cancion.”

About Nelson O Figueroa

The son of Puerto Rican-born parents, Nelson was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Far Rockaway section of Queens, New York. Growing up, music was a major factor his upbringing, with his mother coming from a very musically diverse family and his father introducing him to other types of music such as classic rock. He learned to appreciate all types of music although I tend to drift primarily towards salsa.

Other than music, Nelson likes to spend time with friends and family. He’s also a bit of a sports freak , you can find him cheering for his New York teams: the Mets and the Giants. You might also catch him at a nearby handball court on occasion during the summer.

Nelson has been involved with Being Latino in many supportive roles beginning in 2010 with the fundraiser for Haiti. His ability to engage others in conversation with humor and an open mind made him the ideal candidate for the role of Facebook Engagement Manager; while his love and knowledge of music makes him the perfect fit for the magazine series, Flashback Friday.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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