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Johnny Lang

ShaggyJamaicaCamp Lejeune (military base)

Many people know raggae rapper Shaggy only as a one-joke act who hit it big last summer with the radio hits “Wasn’t Me” and “Angel.” But what a joke it was: his CD “Hotshot” sold 10 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling record of 2001. “Wasn’t Me” and “Angel” were in the Top 10 at the same time.

Before he hit Top 40, Shaggy set a Billboard record in 1995 when his album “Boombastic” spent 30 weeks at No. 1 on the Reggae Album Chart. It also won him a 1996 Grammy.

Born Orville Richard Burrell in Jamaica, Shaggy got his nickname from the long-haired hippy character in the “Scooby Doo” cartoon. At 14 he left Jamaica to live with his mother in Brooklyn.

He also joined the Marines and served in the Gulf War. While stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., he made trips to New York to record, and in 1993 had a surprise independent hit with a cover of Prince Buster’s “Oh Carolina” that, unfortunately, sampled the original cut and led to a lawsuit. But it also made the British pop charts and landed him a deal with Virgin Records.

At Musikfest, he’ll perform with the vocalists who joined him on last year’s hits and also may play new songs from a CD he finished this month.

John J. Moser

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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