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Daniel Rodríguez: 1964—: Former Law Enforcement Officer, Singer

Launched A Full-time Singing Career

Rodríguez juggled his time at the Washington Opera with a heavy schedule of appearances at venues across the country. Soon after the terrorist attacks, Rodríguez was booked to appear on the Emmy Awards program. The show was never televised, but during rehearsals Rodríguez met jazz saxophonist and producer Tom Scott. Scott was impressed by Rodríguez and promptly became his producer. Within weeks, he helped Rodríguez land a three-album contract with Manhattan Records, a subsidiary label of EMI Records specializing in classics and jazz. Of Rodríguez, Scott told the Hispanic Magazine website, "He's a good-hearted and funny guy, and a major talent." In December of 2001 Rodríguez released a single of "God Bless America." and donated the single's estimated $50,000 in profits to the Twin Towers Fund to benefit families of uniformed officers who died in the attacks.

Rodríguez's first full-length album followed in February of 2002. The Spirit of America included patriotic classics such as "America the Beautiful," inspirational Broadway songs, and classic tear-jerkers like "Danny Boy." Of the album's release he told Texas's El Paso Times, "I'm living my lifelong dream. I'm singing songs that are both meaningful to me and that inspire others." The album also inspired a PBS production of the same name.

By the end of 2002, Rodríguez had decided to turn in his badge and pursue singing full-time. "If the signs are there, you do it," he told HispanicOnline.com. "God doesn't have to hit me with a hammer." Reportedly earning up to $30,000 for a performance, Rodríguez is enjoying his new windfall, but has said repeatedly that he sings for the love of it, not the money. "I've been rich for a long time, because I've got music at my core," he told Florida Today. "Now, I'm just along for the ride. My expectations are to sing as long as people will listen. If it means singing out of a church basement, I'll still be happy." With the 2003 release of his highly anticipated second album, From My Heart, concert bookings through 2004, and ongoing auditions for Broadway and opera, it is unlikely he will be performing in any church basement soon.

Selected discography

"God Bless America," (single) Angel, 2001.

The Spirit of America, Angel, 2002.

From My Heart, Manhattan, 2003.



El Paso Times (El Paso, TX), September 13, 2002, p. 1.

Florida Today, October 11, 2002, p. 1.

Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2001, p. F2; December 28, 2002, p. E6.

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), September 21, 2002, p. E1.

Record (Bergen County, NJ), December 7, 2001, p. 35.

St. Petersburg Times, September 2, 2002, p. 1A.

Standard Times (New Bedford, MA), April 15, 2002, p. B1.


"Daniel Rodríguez: The Latino Voice of Patriotism," Hispanic Magazine, www.hispaniconline.com/vista/sepdaniel.htm (March 24, 2003).

"New York City's Singing Cop Becomes 'America's Tenor,'" Digital Journal, www.digitaljournal.com/news/?articleID=2979 (March 24, 2003).

—Candace LaBalle

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr BiographyDaniel Rodríguez: 1964—: Former Law Enforcement Officer, Singer Biography - Abandoned Singing Career To Support Family, Became New York's "singing Cop", Launched A Full-time Singing Career