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Chad Richardson Sings for His Rent

According to the press kit for the Canadian production of the Pulitzer Prize winning Rent, one of the musical's stars, Chad Richardson ( right ), put himself through university in the early '90s by winning prizes in karaoke bars. "Really, my dad put me through university," says Richardson, Originally from Conception Bay South, Nfld. "Karaoke paid some of the bills." His rendition of "I heard it Through the Grapevine" garnered him about $500 a month, not to mention several CD players and a set of tires. That song is the same one he performed at his audition for the Tony Award-winning produciton.

Though Richardson, 28, has written, recorded and produced two CDs, the latest being the critically acclaimed The Legends of Brud, musical theatre was a new experience for him. "When I got the part, I went home and just started to cry, I was just so happy. I though, My God, I can do this now, I'm a professional performer." Though he loved the experience of Rent, which is touring Canada this summer, Richardson is looking forward to recording a new album after his stint with the company ends this fall. "Songwritting is really where my heart lies," he says.

Laura Bickle