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Shaq conducts Boston Pops

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  December 20, 2010 06:09 PM

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Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
Shaquille O'Neal led the Boston Pops for three songs.

The Boston Pops had a rather large guest on Monday night, as Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal served as guest conductor tonight during the performance at Symphony Hall.

The multi-talented Shaq, who has appeared on rap albums as well as in several movies, conducted three songs -- Sleigh Ride, Can You Feel It (a Michael Jackson rendition) and We Are The Champions by Queen.

"Actually you know I have a whole new respect for conductors," Shaq said before the performance. "Went through a little rehearsal today and my arms are shot right now."

Shaq is no stranger to being out of his element. His reality show, "Shaq Vs.," matched him up against athletes and celebrities at their own game, such as dancing vs. Justin Bieber or cooking against Rachael Ray.

On Monday, he rehearsed in the evening, then joined the Pops performance, which began at 8 p.m., at 8:30.

When asked about being accepted in Boston, Shaq said, "I think I've sort of been grandfathered in. I think, you know, people kind of appreciate my humor [and] appreciate my hard work."

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