Famous Veteran Shaggy Sang His Way to the Top After Leaving the Marines

Shaggy gives free concert for military
Shaggy sings during a free concert for military and local community members on July 22, 2017, aboard Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. (Lance Cpl. Tayler P. Schwamb/U.S. Marines)

Born on Oct. 22, 1968, in Kingston, Jamaica, Orville Richard Burrell was nicknamed "Shaggy" by his friends after the cartoon character from the TV show "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" While growing up, Shaggy was a fan not only of reggae but also ska, dancehall and R&B.

Shaggy left Jamaica for the United States when he turned 18, joining his mother in Brooklyn. As soon as he arrived in New York, he began pursuing a music career. He found success quickly. Two singles, "Mampie" and "Big Up," both hit No. 1 on the New York reggae charts.

After spending a tough year attempting to find work, Shaggy joined the Marines in 1988. Two years later, he found himself in the Gulf War. The experience sobered him, and Shaggy decided to commit himself even more fully to his music.

In 1993, he released his debut album Pure Pleasure, and the single "Oh Carolina" became one of the biggest hit singles in UK history. Shaggy shows no sign of letting up, as his album, Hot Shot, reached the top spot in the Billboard Top 100.

Shaggy is still going strong. In 2020, he released Hot Shot 2020 -- a project celebrating the 20th anniversary of the iconic album's release.

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