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Sunset Park resident Daniel Rodriguez,
40, may be an ex-cop, but this tough cookie has a sweet side.
The former New York City police officer is inciting swoons worldwide with something other than his muscles: his tenor voice. This month, he’s lending that voice to raise funds to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research.
Schooled at Juilliard, Rodriguez (pictured at left) has been singing professionally since he was 14 years old. He became a cop in 1994, but maintained his lyrical habits, taking on the role of official national anthem singer for the NYPD. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he was called by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to sing a prayer for America, and sang at the funerals of more than 150 police officers killed in the line of duty.
Rodriguez retired from the force just last year due to the overwhelming success of his musical career; he’s performed on television shows such as "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "Oprah," and at the World Series and the opening of the winter Olympics.
But his mission to help people in need didn’t subside once he put down his badge. Nearly 60 percent of his performances are now done for charity.
"You do good things and good things happen to you," he told GO Brooklyn. "It’s a calling when you realize that you’re supposed to be doing this for the rest of your life."
Rodriguez, whose third album ("an inspirational collection of my best work so far") comes out in May, will perform at the "Music to Cure MS" benefit at the St. George Theatre (35 Hyatt St. at Central Avenue) on Staten Island on April 16 at 8 pm. Actor Tony Lo Bianco will be master of ceremonies. Rodriguez will also sing the national anthem at the MS Walk that morning in Historic Richmond Town.
"Now that I’m somewhat famous, I use that popularity to bring attention to things like Multiple Sclerosis," said Rodriguez. "I’ve always tried to use my gifts to do good things."
For $40 and $75 tickets to the benefit or more information, call (718) 442-2900 or visit the Web site at www.stgeorgetheatre.com. For more information on the MS Walk, visit www.nationalmssociety.org.
©2005 Community Newspaper Group
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