Born Orville Richard Burrell and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Shaggy got his start as an MC in New York City’s burgeoning dancehall scene soon after moving to Brooklyn in his teens. Not long after serving four years in the U.S. Marines (including two tours of duty in the Middle East as part of Operation Desert Storm), he inked his first record deal and quickly scored a global crossover smash with “Oh Carolina.”
As the only diamond-selling dancehall artist in music history, Shaggy, has sold more than 40 million album units to date, in addition to landing eight singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and seven albums on the Billboard 200 (including four in the top 40). He is among the top 3 streamed reggae artists of all time on Spotify (along with Bob Marley & Sean Paul).
Following the album, 44/876 (his collaboration with Sting & winner of Best Reggae Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards), Shaggy’s projects include his twelfth studio album Wah Gwaan?!, a 2019 release that amassed over four million streams during its first week on Spotify alone and spent a chunk of that year in the Top 10 on Apple’s iTunes Reggae chart. That project was followed by the release of Hot Shot 2020, commemorating the 20th anniversary of his diamond-selling album, which included re-recorded, modernized versions of the biggest hits and most beloved fan favorites across Shaggy’s catalog.
That year also saw the massive success of his viral hit, “Banana” with fellow Jamaican artist, Conkarah, garnering over 2 billion streams and spawning 50+ million Tik Tok videos with over 5 billion video views for the #bananadrop challenge!
Shaggy finished out the year with the release of Christmas in the Islands – a quintessential reggae Christmas themed collection that puts a Caribbean twist on traditional Christmas cheer featuring island-infused holiday songs with guest performances from Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Junior Reid, Ne-Yo, Romain Virgo, Ritchie Stephens, Conkarah, Joss Stone & others. The deluxe edition has 4 newly recorded songs including “Amazing Christmas” featuring up-and-coming singer/songwriter/producer, Hannah Brier and a duet with Sting for a reggae version of the classic, “Silent Night.”
At the top of 2021, Shaggy was featured in a Cheetos commercial during Super Bowl LV alongside Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher; the spot was one of the highest-rated ads in Superbowl history.
Shaggy’s next collaboration – Go Down Deh” with fellow reggae icon Sean Paul and the Queen of Dancehall, Spice – dominated the global reggae charts upon release. The iconic Jamaican trio performed their smash hit on a trio of National television shows including Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series (Interview, Go Down Deh Performance & Medley Performance), Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Wendy Williams Show (Interview & Performance). The track, produced by Shaggy, was followed by Spice’s long-awaited debut album, TEN, which Shaggy co-wrote and executive produced. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Reggae album.
Last year (July 4, 2021), Shaggy hosted a weekly radio show, Shaggy’s Yaad, on SiriusXM FLY. The program featured a wide range of contemporary, rare and classic tracks spanning the hip hop, dancehall and reggae genres with insights from Shaggy about the musical history of his Jamaican homeland and its global impact.
Fresh off his Grammy Award nomination for producing and co-writing Spice’s groundbreaking album, Shaggy released a new single, “Mi Nuh Know.” The track interpolates “Wah-Do-Dem,” the infectious tune by fellow Jamaican “singjay” artist, Eek-A-Mouse and is available on all digital platforms with the correlating music video, directed by Jay Will, also out now.
Following his reveal as Space Bunny on Fox’s The Masked Singer, Shaggy released a new, modern version of “Jump in the Line”. Hailed “The most entertaining contestant on Season 7,” by MSN, “Space Bunny delivered an out-of-this-world performance in his first appearance on the April 20 episode with a cover of the Harry Belafonte classic, “Jump in the Line. And he followed up on April 27 with a silky-smooth cover of “All Night Long (All Night)” by Lionel Richie.”
Earlier this year, Shaggy was honored by the Third Street Music School Settlement – the nation’s longest running community music school – with the “Distinguished Artist” award. And, on May 28, 2022 he received an honorary degree from Brown University and delivered the honorary degree oration at their Undergraduate Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony, which was their first in person ceremony since the start of the pandemic.
Following the Grammy Award for their collaborative album, 44/876, Sting and Shaggy, both managed by Martin/Kierszenbaum/Cherrytree Music Company, have joined forces again for Com Fly Wid Mi. The album, produced by 17-time Grammy Award winner Sting, features Shaggy singing the Sinatra songbook in a reggae style and just received a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. The music video for the first single, “That’s Life,” directed by Jay Will (Sean Paul, Major Lazer, Lee Scratch Perry), offers an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the iconic pair while making the album. To celebrate the album’s release, Shaggy performed the album in full at a limited access, one night only concert at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. A music video for “Luck Be a Lady” – another track off the album – was captured during this special performance.
The album, Best of Shaggy: The Boombastic Collection has been certified gold in the UK.
Not only a multi-award-winning songwriter and hitmaker, Shaggy has also long used his platform to strengthen his community and homeland. In 2009, he established the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation and organized the first of many, Shaggy & Friends benefit concerts, which to date have raised millions for the Bustamante Children’s Hospital (the Caribbean’s only English-speaking children’s hospital, located in Kingston).