Shaggy (his album, Summer in Kingston, is iTunes’ No. 1 reggae album) shares the 25 things you don’t know about him with Us Weekly.
1. I was in the Marines and served in the first Gulf War.
2. I was born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. when I was a teenager.
3. I used to travel from North Carolina to New York every weekend to record music while I was in the Marines. As a result I recorded my first crossover hit “Oh Carolina.”
4. I love Butterfingers Mini Bites!
5. I am not a tourist. I would rather rest in my hotel room then walk around site-seeing.
6. I have five children.
7. I recorded approximately 200 songs in the past two years.
8. I am the only living diamond-selling reggae artist.
9. I had a crush on Whoopi Goldberg when I was young.
10. My song “Angel” held the Guinness book record for most radio plays in one week.
11. I love older model Porsche 911’s.
12. I have a charity — Shaggy’s “Make a Difference Foundation” — that raises money to buy medical equipment for the Busta Mante Children’s hospital in Jamaica.
13. One of the most amazing moments in my life is when I sat and spoke with Nelson Mandela.
14. I love to DJ; when I was younger I used to play on a DJ sound-system.
15. I enjoy cooking.
16. Reality shows are my guilty pleasure.
17. I always keep freshly cut sugarcane in my refrigerator; it’s a great snack.
18. In 1996 a stage collapsed on me and my band, and we were hospitalized.
19. There is a bag of pistachios in front of me while I am writing this.
20. I performed for Michael Jackson at his 30th anniversary in Madison Square Garden. He told me he loved “It Wasn’t Me,” and said it was something he would have written.
21. I have never had any vocal training.
22. I love watching the news to keep up with current political news.
23. I love to draw and wish I had more time to practice the craft.
24. James Brown kicked open my dressing room door at a concert and told me, “You are the truth. I have seen them come and go but you got it! They can take everything from you, but as long as I have your talent they can never take that away from you!” The he walked out. I am still humbled by that moment.
25. My motto is — whatever you are going for — “failure is not an option.”