Most singers will say they chose their career path early on, but former major league baseball player Todd Dulaney has a different tale.
After playing for the New York Mets for a year, he said he felt called by God to switch paths.
“It was a calling and I felt like it was my purpose,” he said. “I was meant to lead people in worship and write music.”
Dulaney recently signed with eOne Gospel. He was drafted by the Mets in 2002. Since leaving, he has worked and performed with artists like Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Michelle Williams, Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbet and more. He has even made television appearances on BET’s “Bobby Jones Gospel,” Atlanta Gospel Live and many more. Dulaney is also a Stellar Award nominated artist.
Dulaney was raised in the church and even sung in the choir, but he said he didn’t really have a real relationship with God. He said he felt like he needed to change his life around so he accepted Christ into his life, seven years ago, at the age of 23.
“I was living crazy before, by playing ball, I had everything, I could get into anywhere, I had access to the club and I indulged in anything,” said Dulaney, who add that he couldn’t be at peace with his actions so he needed to change his lifestyle.
During Dulaney’s off season in 2003, he visited Grammy award winning gospel artist Smokie Norful’s church, Victory Cathedral Worship Center. Dulaney wanted to be apart of the music ministry so he joined the church, he said.
“Smokie told me I had a gift,” said Dulaney. Eventually, he was invited to sing background for Norful. That invitation allowed him to travel.
Dulaney said that he was always known as the athlete growing up, but apart of that is because he tried to hide his other gift.
“Singing wasn’t the cool thing to do as a guy and I wanted to be cool and accepted,” he said. “I was good at all the sports so I tried to hide for a long time.”
Life as a major league baseball player was “completely” different for Dulaney. “Every morning I was working out,” he said. “With music, it’s the same thing, but you’re waking up praying and singing.”
Dulaney said that at times he misses the money he made from his athletic career, but has no regrets.
“I have peace I never had when I was playing ball,” he said.
Dulaney’s advice for new artists: “Don’t spend a lot of money on your first album, but instead think about how that money can be used to market to people.”
He’ll be at the African Festival of the Arts Aug. 30. Visit www.ToddDulaneyLand.com and follow him on Twitter @ToddDulaney to stay in the loop.
Check out his first single, “Pulling Me Through.”