Newly minted “Dr. Shaggy” talks “freakin’ nuts” new album, “transcending generations” with music


Shaggy is now “Dr. Shaggy” after receiving an honorary degree from Brown University at the Ivy League school’s recent graduation ceremony.  And Shaggy says he was shocked that the graduating seniors not only knew him, but all seemed to be big fans of his, too.

“I was blown away in many ways [by] that whole experience,” he tells ABC Audio. “I was walking and people were just yelling, ‘Shaggy, Shaggy, Shaggy!’ Right as…the president introduced me, the whole auditorium was like, ‘Shaggy!’ She’s like, ‘Okay, I got to give the man his degree, calm down!"”

And the “It Wasn’t Me” singer says everyone at the after-party recognized him too.

“There was a commencement dinner afterwards — y’know, a lot of the honorees, including Nancy Pelosi and a whole bunch of Nobel Peace Prize winners and…congresspeople and senators and donors. And again, it was a huge reception,” Shaggy says. “I was like, ‘Wow, I really transcend through generations here with these songs!"”

According to Shaggy, that’s because he’s worked hard to try and make “timeless music” — and his new album is certainly that.  After teaming up with Sting in 2018 for a Grammy-winning album, the two reunited for Come Fly Wid Mi, which features Shaggy singing reggae versions of Frank Sinatra classics. Yes, Shaggy admits that the idea of him singing Sinatra was “freakin’ nuts,” but he was down.

“The thing that Sting and I have in common is that we are both allergic to boredom and we like to think outside the box…And so it wasn’t far-fetched for me,” Shaggy tells ABC Audio. “It was scary…singing isn’t something that I was very confident on.”

But Sting, who produced the album, says Shaggy did a great job.

“It just makes people smile,” he says. “And what does the world need more than a smile at the moment?”

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