Tony Meléndez

Tony Meléndez
Melendez concert 3-12-15.jpg
Meléndez performing on March 6, 2015
Background information
Birth nameJosé Antonio Meléndez Rodríguez
Born(1962-01-09) January 9, 1962 (age 56)
Rivas, Nicaragua
GenresChristian, Spanish
Occupation(s)singer, songwriter, composer
Years active1985-present

José Antonio Meléndez Rodríguez (born January 9, 1962, Rivas, Nicaragua) is a Nicaraguan American guitar player, composer, singer, and songwriter who was born without arms. His mother took Thalidomide while pregnant, which caused his disability. Meléndez has learned to play the guitar with his feet.[1]


Meléndez began playing and singing in the Los Angeles area in 1985.[1] On September 15, 1987, Meléndez sang Never Be the Same while playing the guitar with his feet in a special performance for Pope John Paul II. Visibly moved, the Pope descended from his chair and embraced Meléndez. The Pope told Meléndez, "My wish to you, is to continue of giving [sic] this hope to all, all the people," which inspired him.[2]

As of 2005, his band, Tony Meléndez and the Toe Jam Band, has a busy concert schedule. Meléndez gives motivational talks and has written a book. He campaigns actively for the pro-life cause.

Meléndez now resides in Branson, Missouri with his wife, Lynn.[3]

Other Languages
español: Tony Meléndez
português: Tony Meléndez