A retired officer and Bay Ridge resident has been given the gift of a golden voice. For years, Daniel Rodriguez has used it to uplift various communities. This year, during the New York Rangers Stanley Cup Playoff run, the singing police officer has played an integral role performing the National Anthem and so far, has brought them good fortune.
“I sang during games one and five of the Rangers playoff series against the Penguins and they won both games, which kind of makes me a good luck charm,” Rodriguez said. “It felt great. The fans are really enthusiastic so I felt energized when I sang the anthem. They welcomed me as a former New York City police officer. It felt like they knew who I was because when I was introduced, I got a nice cheer.”
The Rangers are currently battling the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. If the series goes to a seventh and deciding game at Madison Square Garden, Rodriguez is slated to perform the Star Spangled Banner and he’s ready should the opportunity present itself. “I want to be the one that sings the anthem when they win the Stanley Cup,” he said. “That’ll clinch my name in Ranger history.”
Since he was 12, Rodriguez has sung professionally. “I feel blessed. I approach everything from a spiritual point of view,” he said. “It’s coming from a higher source.”
Despite his early training, Rodriguez decided to take a break from pursuing his singing career in his twenties when he started a family. He worked for the post office for 10 years before becoming a police officer, and served for three years at the 68th Precinct.
As it turned out, it was policing that led him back to music. During a graduation ceremony in 1995 at Madison Square Garden for the Police Department, Rodriguez sang the National Anthem, which became the catalyst for his future career in music. “It was a big police class of 2,000 officers,” Rodriguez recalled. “I impressed everyone, including the media, so they made me one of the official national anthem singers.”
Then, after September 11, 2001, he appeared on several talk shows, including “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Larry King Live” and “Live with Regis and Kelly,” as well as on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” at the 2002 Olympics and performing in Game Three of the 2001 World Series for the New York Yankees.
“After all the things that happened after 9/11, I was spared that day because of this,” said Rodriguez, who was a first responder at Ground Zero. “I needed to be here. My mission in life was to help the city heal.”
Currently, Rodriguez, a tenor, is touring all over the world, performing classical tunes. Being a singer, he said, is, “part of who you are. Music is not what I do. It’s who I am.”