Reggae’s Most Successful Advocate
It must be said that the ‘Shaggs Man’ is all that and then some. Topping the music charts is, to most artists, the ultimate achievement in their career – that the general public is actually feeling your music is the greatest satisfaction of all. But to consistently do it globally (with multiple albums and singles) especially in the genre of Reggae is a little bit more than special. It kinda blows the fishes out of the water! The Grammy award-winning Reggae superstar has continually built bridges between the Pop and Reggae world. And to date, he has sold in excess of 20 million records globally.
His debonair career had taken flight in 1993 with the release of ‘Pure Pleasure’, his debut album. It featured a sensational version of the Folkes Brothers’ 1960s classic Oh Carolina (Jamaica’s first ever ‘Reggae’ song) which, became one of the biggest hit singles in UK’s Pop history and went on to top the charts in no fewer than nine other countries. And on his debut world tour that year, Shaggy left audiences weak especially in Europe. Along with the release of the landmark album ‘Boombastic’ in 1995, Shaggy became a household name connecting with US audiences in a big way. Hits from as far back as then and others along the way (It Wasn’t Me, Angel, Church Heathen, Bad Man Don’t Cry, etc.) had firmly engraved his signature on the notepads of record history. The Reggae world would have look as far back as the days of Bob Marley & The Wailers for similar exploits. Renowned as a genius, there’s clearly no stopping the musical don. He remains a master of many styles – from Pop and R&B to Reggae and Dancehall – appealing to every kind of music fan.
Although he has lived his entire adult life in the USA, Shaggy’s roots are grounded in Kingston, Jamaica where he was born Orville Richard Burrell on 22 October 1968. As a child, his friends nicknamed him ‘Shaggy’ after the comic cartoon character ‘Scooby Doo’. Music was always his passion, even as a boy growing up on the island. “Reggae hasn’t got a radio format in Jamaica, they just play what they want so, my influences range from Ska, Dancehall and Rocksteady to Soca and R&B”. Over the years, Shaggy has worked with some of the heaviest producers the industry has to offer such as Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Livingston, Dave Kelly and others. He writes most of his material himself so, expect him to come with fresh new licks every time and his distinctive, totally unique sing-jay vocal style add the ‘cherry on top’.
In the Entertainment world, the ‘Shaggs Man’ can do no wrong as alongside his exceptional albums and singles; he gets busy contributing songs to notable Film soundtracks. Plus he runs various Charity events to help the children of Jamaica namely, his annual ‘Shaggy & Friends’ concerts. “All I want to do is make classic records. You don’t have to come on board from day one just as long as somewhere along the line, you do. Come to a Shaggy concert and I guarantee that when you leave, you’ll be a Shaggy fan”, states the confidently feisty and very affluent maestro.