|José Luis Rodríguez|
"El Puma" aka "The Cougar" in 2012
|José Luis Rodríguez Gónzalez|
|El Puma, El Capitán, El Grande|
14 January 1943|
|Genres||Canción melódica, Bolero, Latin pop|
|Singer, Record producer, Actor, Entrepreneur|
|Labels||Velvet, TopHits, RCA, Polydor, Sony BMG|
|Mirla Castellanos, Ilan Chester, Estela Raval, Vikki Carr|
José Luis Rodríguez González, nicknamed El Puma (Cougar) (Spanish pronunciation: [xose'lwis ro'ð?i?es]; 14 January 1943), is a Venezuelan singer and actor who is known for having recorded many international super hits and participated in a handful of telenovelas. He also served as a coach and mentor on the Peruvian and Argentine version of The Voice, as well as a judge on X Factor Chile.
José Luis Rodríguez was born in Caracas, Venezuela to José Antonio Rodríguez from the Canary Islands, Spain and Ana González a Venezuelan housewife. He lost his father at the age of six, and was raised by his mother (an illiterate then, learned to read as an adult in order to read the Bible) along with 11 brothers and sisters. He grew up in very modest conditions, having to shine shoes, and pack bags in a supermarket for a living at an early age. Without an academic formation, he shaped himself as a singer and actor by empirical means.
As his mother participated in the revolt against Marcos Pérez Jiménez (holding weapons and hiding politicians in her home), Rodríguez lived in exile in Ecuador with her and his brother, for a couple of years.
In 1974 Rodriguez was selected by Venevision to represent Venezuela in the third edition of the prestigious OTI Festival which was held in the Mexican city of Acapulco. There, his entry, the song "Vuélvete" (Return) found a warm reception and finally, he got for his country the third place with eleven points.
Rodríguez surfaced in his homeland in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and was able to build a fan base there. He also participated in a famous commercial, along with his family during that time. Rodríguez went to Puerto Rico, where he participated in the Telenovela Cristina Bazán, alongside Johanna Rosaly and young Adamari López. It was whilst there that he received his nickname, El Puma. Later, he also made the telenovela, El ídolo, with Cuban actress Marylin Pupo, playing Omar Contreras (a.k.a. El Puma).
Rodríguez's main money revenue, however, was his singing career. His hits included Dueño de nada, Pavo real and Agárrense de las manos. With the second, he caused controversy at the 1982 contest of Miss Universe, which was being held in Lima, Peru; the song's main issue was interracial marriage.
Later, Rodríguez participated in the Spanish version of Meet the Robinsons, La Familia del Futuro, as Wilbur Robinson's father. El Puma also starred in an advertising campaign for Wrigley's Eclipse gum, with the spot drawing on his persona, using humor and kitsch to highlight the tagline, "Libera el Puma que hay en tí" (Free the puma within).
In May 2009, Rodriguez joined the cast of the miniseries, Gabriel, produced for the Hispanic audience in the United States by Megafilms and transmitted by Mega TV. The miniseries, released in November of the same year is based on the themes of vampirism and ocultism.
In July 2012 he was a judge and voice trainer on La Voz... Argentina (Argentine version of The Voice) that was broadcast on Telefe. Along with co-presenters Fernán Martínez and Carolina Ramírez, he served as a judge on a dance programme called La Pista which was aired on Caracol TV in Colombia. In the same year he also made a camio appearance in the film, Casa de mi Padre, starring Will Ferrell.
In August 2013, Rodríguez was part of the first season of La Voz Perú, where he was coach for one of the four teams. On December 20 one of his pupils, young Daniel Lazo, placed first in the competition, making Rodríguez the first winning coach in the history of La Voz Perú.
Rodríguez was married to Lila Morillo from 1966 to 1986 and is the father of actresses Lilibeth Morillo, Liliana Rodriguez. He fathered Génesis Rodríguez with Cuban born model Carolina Perez who were ultimately married in 1997 to Present.
He underwent a double lung transplant due to pulmonary fibrosis in 2018.