"José Montserrate Feliciano García" (born September 10, 1945 in Lares, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican singer and guitarist. A victim of congenital glaucoma, he was left permanently blind at birth. Feliciano overcame the effects of his impairment to score many international hits.
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He was first exposed to music at age 3. At five, his family moved to Spanish Harlem, New York City. At age 9, he played on the ''Teatro Puerto Rico''. He could play various instruments (such as the accordion) by then but he wanted to learn to play the guitar. To learn, he locked himself in his room for up to 14 hours a day to listen to 1950s rock albums but also classic guitarists like Andrés Segovia and jazz players like Wes Montgomery, and had assistance from Harold Morris.
At 17, he quit school to play in clubs, because his family was going through a precarious economic situation. That year also, he had his first professional, contracted performance in Detroit.