To Give Hope to All The People
“I can’t explain why people have been moved to tears, as my feet slowly apply pressure to the face and neck of my guitar something happens. For as long as I could remember these toes of mine have been like fingers. God somehow has blessed me with music and the desire to persevere.”
Originally from Rivas, Nicaragua, Tony Melendez was born without arms and he had a clubbed foot due to the drug, Thalidomide. Tony’s mother was prescribed this drug for morning sickness by her doctor and had no idea how it would affect her unborn son. At the age of one Tony’s family immigrated to the USA so Tony could have corrective surgery on his left foot in order for him to walk.
In 1987 he was asked by the youth of Los Angeles to be their gift to Pope John Paul II, and this internationally broadcast event set Tony’s career in to high gear. Now more than twenty-eight years later Tony has traveled to all fifty states and more than 44 foreign countries. Tony has been on shows such as Good Morning America, Hour Of Power with Robert Schuller, Arsenio Hall, 700 Club, and Jerry Lewis Telethons.
Tony has recorded five albums, Never Be The Same, Ways of The Wise, Cup Of Life, Hands In Heaven and his latest Hope/Esperanza. He also has an autobiography, A Gift Of Hope, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including special commendations from President Reagan, the State of California, the City of Los Angeles, and countless other civic and charitable organizations. He received the first annual Inspirational Hero Award from the NFL Alumni Association at Super Bowl XXIII
Tony travels with his brother Jose and together they share with young and old their message of hope, encouragement, and faith. Tony’s message and story are presented with music and his personal life stories. As they continue to travel they focus on young people by going into elementary, Jr. high schools, high schools, colleges and universities. Tony presents himself as a victim of drugs and the harm they can cause. Tony and Jose also include in their program how important self esteem is to young people and incorporate how any kind of substance abuse is dangerous. They also talk about how they deal with issues such as Disability Awareness, Cultural Awareness and Family Support. Today’s most troubling issue is bullying and both Tony and Jose share their stories of overcoming this issue through changes in attitude and discipline.
Through concerts, conferences, retreats and school presentations, Tony and Jose Melendez generate hope, and a commitment to help bring people’s hearts toward Jesus Christ. Knowing how important life really is, the Melendez brothers strongly believe in justice and living with dignity.
Tony now resides in Branson with his wife Lynn and two kids, Marisa and Andres. Despite all the travel for over 30 years, Tony continues to resist the siren song of stardom, hoping only to develop his musical career and share his God given gifts. “I don’t feel like a celebrity,” he says with a smile, ” I just feel like me!”
Tony has been a performer and speaker at the:
24th annual conference in 2021
23rd annual conference in 2020
22nd annual conference in 2019