Orville Richard Burrell, better known by his stage name Shaggy, is a Grammy Award winning Jamaican musician, singer, and DJ. He is also a former United States Marine who had served in the Persian Gulf War. He embarked on a musical career after being discharged from the military. His first hit song was the single ‘Oh Carolina,’ a remake of the 1958 song by the Folkes Brothers. In 1993, he released his debut album ‘Pure Pleasure’, which included the hit singles ‘Nice and Lovely’ and ‘Big Up’. He gained further popularity with his song ‘Boombastic’ from his album of the same name. He established himself as one of the top Reggae musicians in the US in the ensuing years. Boosted by the success of his musical career, he made his film debut in the action comedy film ‘Blast’, where he played a supporting role. Years later, he appeared in another action comedy movie ‘Game Over, Man!’ playing a cameo role. He is also renowned for his involvement in philanthropic activities.
Childhood & Early Life
Shaggy was born on 22nd October 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica. He discovered his passion and talent for singing as a young boy and started taking singing courses.
He left for New York at the age of 18. He made his debut with the song ‘Man A Mi Yard’, which was followed by others such as ‘Bullet Proof Buddy’.
His career was interrupted temporarily as he had to join the United States Marines due to his extreme poverty. This led him to Iraq where he found himself in the middle of the Gulf War. He retired after a few years after he reached the rank of Lance Corporal.
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Shaggy resumed his singing career after he left the military. He came to popularity for his song ‘Oh Carolina,’ a remake of a 1958 song by John Folkes, released by the Folkes Brothers. The song also became the first single from his debut album ‘Pure Pleasure’ which was released in 1993. Another hit single from the album was ‘Nice and Lovely’ which reached the 10th position on the New Zealand Music Chart.
His second album ‘Original Doberman’ was released in 1994. It wasn’t much of a success. His third album, ‘Boombastic’, however, was a huge success and peaked at the 34th position on the US Billboard 200.
The song ‘Boombastic’ peaked at the first position on the UK Singles Chart and at number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was also later used in the films ‘Barnyard’ and ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’. It sold over a million copies in the US and also won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
His fourth album ‘Midnite Lover’ (1997) was not very successful. It included tracks such as ‘My Dream’ and ‘Tender Love’. The former also earned a nomination for the Razzie Awards for ‘Worst Song’.
He enjoyed success once again with his fifth album ‘Hot Shot’ in 2000. It stood at the first position on the UK Albums Chart as well as the US Billboard 200. It also entered the charts in various other countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and Canada.
Shaggy’s next albums were ‘Lucky Day’ released in 2002 and ‘Clothes Drop’, released in 2005. The latter earned a Grammy nomination in the ‘Best Reggae Album’ category.
He released several albums over the next few years, including ‘Intoxication’ (2007), ‘Shaggy & Friends’ (2011), ‘Summer in Kingston’ (2011), ‘Rise’ (2012) and ‘Out of Many, One Music (2013).
He made his film debut with a role in the action comedy film ‘Blast’ which was directed by Anthony Hickox. It starred actors, such as Eddie Griffin, Vivica A Fox, Breckin Meyer and Joel Pollak. Several years later in 2018, he made a cameo appearance in the action comedy film ‘Game Over, Man!’
‘Boombastic’, Shaggy’s third studio album, is one of his most important and successful works. It sold over a million copies in the US and over 300,000 copies in the UK. The album reached the third position on the US Billboard 200. The song ‘Boombastic’ was also a huge hit, reaching number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album won a Grammy Award in the ‘Best Reggae Album’ category.
‘Hot Shot’, Shaggy’s fifth album is his most commercially successful album till date. It stood at the first position in the charts in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the US. It also entered the charts of various other countries, such as Australia, Denmark, France, Finland and Switzerland. It has sold over ten million copies worldwide.
Shaggy has been married to Rebecca Parker since 2014.
He started a project called Shaggy and Friendz through which he contributes to charities. Through the project he has donated over one million dollars to the Bustamante Children’s Hospital in Jamaica. He also donated machinery and hospital equipment.
He was named after the character Shaggy from the popular children’s cartoon show ‘Scooby Doo’.