We grow brave and evolve as a person when we start stealing opportunities from disadvantages and difficulties, which are often mistaken as barriers on the way of success. These are difficulties and disadvantages that make us excellent leaner and greatest achiever. José Antonio Meléndez Rodríguez is one of the best such examples.
50 year old Tony Meléndez is a Nicaraguan American singer, composer and guitarist who was born without arms. His mother took Thalidomide during pregnancy and that caused his disability. Though he did not have arms but that couldn’t stop him from enjoying life or accomplishing his dreams; he did everything with his patience, perseverance, courage, and a willing heart. He didn’t let his disadvantages take his courage away, he started playing guitar with his feet. Today, he is known to be one of the finest guitarists in the the world.
Meléndez started playing guitar and singing in the Los Angeles area in 1985. In 1987, he came into limelight after his special live performance where he sang ‘Never Be the Same’ and played guitar with his feet for the Pope John Paul II and 6,000 people and millions of TV audience. Meléndez was instantly thrown into the limelight. His performance moved everybody into tears including the Pope who went up to him to embrace and say “My wish to you, is to continue of giving this hope to all, all the people”. Almost 25 years later, he continues giving hope, faith and courage to millions of people worldwide.
Meléndez has received several awards for his contribution to music including the Unity Awards Male Vocalist of the Year UCMVA in 2000, 2002, and 2004; the Branson Entertainment Award for Best New Artist in 1999; the Artist of the year in 2002; the “Inspirational Hero Award from the NFL Alumni Association at the Super Bowl XXIII and many more.
Info Source: tonymelendez.com