IRL: Indy 500: NYPD officer Rodriguez to sing National Anthem

'America's Beloved Tenor' sang after Sept. 11 at New York World Series games. INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 30, 2003 -- Daniel Rodriguez, a seven-year veteran of the New York City Police Department who captivated the United States with his ...

'America's Beloved Tenor' sang after Sept. 11 at New York World Series games.

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, April 30, 2003 -- Daniel Rodriguez, a seven-year veteran of the New York City Police Department who captivated the United States with his stirring a cappella versions of "The Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" in the aftermath of Sept. 11, will sing the National Anthem prior to the 87th Indianapolis 500 on May 25.

The Indianapolis 500 has been scheduled for Memorial Day weekend since the first race in 1911. Honoring the fallen heroes of the United States has been a fixture of the pre-race ceremonies in the 86 years that a race has been conducted. Rodriguez, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native and Manhattan recording artist, will enhance and electrify the patriotic theme of the Indianapolis 500 pre-race ceremony as he did when he performed during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium in New York in the wake of the tragic events of Sept. 11.

"I am proud to be singing at one of the most prestigious races in the world on a day dedicated to men and women who have helped make our country great," Rodriguez said. "It is especially rewarding at a time when we welcome home our nation's heroes."

In addition to numerous World Series games and sporting events, Rodriguez, who is on a leave of absence from the NYPD, has performed at the famed Hollywood Bowl, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the White House for President Bush, the PBS Memorial Day concert in Washington D.C. and Disneyland's 47th birthday.

Known as "America's Beloved Tenor," Rodriguez recently released a new album, "From My Heart," on Manhattan Records. It followed his first album, "The Spirit of America," released in February 2002, which went to No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Crossover chart.

The album was released on the heels of his first single, "God Bless America" (with a spoken introduction by former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani), and a new song, "We Will Go On." The single was released Dec. 11, 2001, the three-month anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, with proceeds from its sales going to the Twin Towers Fund. Both songs are on "The Spirit of America."

The 87th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 25. A limited number of reserved-seat Race Day tickets for the Indianapolis 500 remain available. General admission and reserved tickets for practice, qualifications and Race Day can be purchased on the World Wide Web via www.imstix.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.

-ims-

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Series IndyCar