M.I.A: What on earth happened to Shaggy?

He hasn’t charted in the UK since 2006, at number 76, back in a time when Avian Flu was also popular. What on earth has happened to Shaggy?

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1968, he quickly moved at the age of eighteen to New York. Not just content with being a singer, he was also enlisted in the Marines, serving in the first Gulf War in the early 90’s. He became extremely popular after his album ‘Hot Shot’, which was home to arguably his most successful single, ‘It Wasn’t Me’. The album and the single both charted at number one in the UK before going platinum.

Shaggy hasn’t completely disappeared since his profound success in the 90’s and 2000’s. In fact, the pop-reggae singer is still about, believe it or not. Since the last time he did have a single chart in the UK, he has released another three albums, with none of them being given more than a Chinese whisper in the press, even if he was nominated for a Grammy this year (for Best Reggae album).


Most recently, Shaggy released an album in 2011 called ‘Summertime In Kingston’, named   after his home town. ‘Summertime In Kingston’ only provided a measly eight tracks, but did feature vocals from Pitbull. But since the album was mostly promoted by Shaggy himself, it struggled.

The fact that he has been hot potato’d around record labels might give an indication towards his decline in popularity. His last four albums have been released under four, count them, four different record labels. One of those record labels is Ranch Entertainment, which he founded in June of this year.

Let’s just reflect all the way back to the start of the millennium, when ‘Bombastic’ and ‘Angel’ were released. How times have changed. The continuously mutating industry looks to have nudged him out of the limelight. Or maybe it’s Shaggy that has been done with the limelight for a long time, and would rather sit back, and raise others through his record label. At the age of 43, all of us would probably wish to take a back seat and do the same.

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