He may be known for singing reggae classics like “It Wasn’t Me”, “Boombastic”, and “Angel”, but Shaggy is turning heads with his latest role as Sebastian in ‘The Little Mermaid Live!’ In a recent interview with ‘BWW TV’, the singer shared, “I did ‘Under the Sea’ and ‘Kiss the Girl’, and obviously doing those songs was something unique and new to me.”
What else does the musician have to say about his latest jump into live theater? Here’s what you need to know.
Shaggy as Sebastian The Crab
The Little Mermaid will celebrate its 30th birthday this month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a live musical event that honors the original movie. ABC’s The Little Mermaid Live! will be 50% the original feature and 50% live musical performance.
Fans may remember Sebastian, the red Jamaican crab, as one of the main protagonists in the 1989 hit Disney film. In previews for tonight’s live performance, we see the Shaggy in a red leather jacket, however, many are hoping he dons a full-size crab costume come showtime.
The reggae musician will be in good company during this live performance. He will be joined by Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula, John Stamos as Chef Louis, and Graham Phillips as Prince Eric.
Stamos recently told Access of his evil character, “What excites me is that they’re sort of letting me play with the character a little bit. I mean, the essence of him will be what people love, but you know, if you really look at this guy, he’s crazy! So just to be able to let all that out into this character is going to be really fun.”
Shaggy Was Born in Kingston, Jamaica
Shaggy, who was born Orville Richard Burrell, hails from Kingston, Jamaica. After enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1988, where he achieved the rank of lance corporal, Shaggy perfected his signature vocals. In the 1990s, he came out with his hit song “Oh Carolina”. That same year, he worked with producers like Sting International, Don One, Lloyd Campbell, and Frankie Cutlass, and eventually came out with the hit song “Boombastic” in 1995.
In 2000, Shaggy released the album, “Hot Shot”, which included fan-favorites like “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel”. To date, he has sold 20 million albums.
In a 2011 interview with The Fader, Shaggy was asked if the recording culture in Jamaica was different when he was getting started than today. He shared, “Actually I started recording mainly in New York, which has a huge dancehall community. I was with the Rough Entry crew—me, Red Fox, Screechy Dan. We were running the place. After we blew up with ‘Boombastic,’ we started going back down to Jamaica and opened Big Yard studio with my former manager, Robert Livingston.”
Asked how he stays relevant, he shared, “I’m not the guy to get big record company budgets. My budget is Britney Spears’ catering money. We make do with it and sell huge numbers. But “Sugarcane” sounds like a Shaggy record. My voice has a very distinct sound. You’ve got to make these songs your own. So when we hit, they’re monsters.”
Shaggy has certainly found a way to stay relevant with his latest foray into live theater. The Little Mermaid Live! will air at 8pm EST live, and for those on the West Coast, you’ll have to watch a taped recording of the performance.