RIP Cheo Feliciano, Salsa Legend

Cheo Feliciano
From San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Thursday morning, came the sad news that legendary salsa singer, Cheo Feliciano (PeekYou profile here), was killed in an early morning car crash. He was 78 years old.

A deft improviser with a rich and distinct baritone, Feliciano was a key figure in the New York City salsa music boom of the 1970s. His performing career, however, started when he has still a teen in the 50s, fronting “Godfather of Boogaloo” Joe Cuba’s sextet.

A recovered heroin addict for decades, he was outspokenly anti-drugs; dedicating much of his life to helping other addicts kick. He had been in ill health in recent years, not long ago having been treated for cancer and pneumonia.

Below is a clip of Cheo fronting The Fania All-Stars, to a packed Yankee Stadium, in 1973. A visit to Cheo’s PeekYou profile will lead you to more great music from this extraordinary artist.