It’s officially Dr. Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell as the dancehall legend accepts his Honorary Doctorate in the Fine Arts from Brown University.
The ‘Boombastic’ singer was recognized over the weekend for his contribution to music and culture and conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Ivy League University, Brown University in the United States.
A citation from Brown University regaled the reggae and dancehall giant for his illustrious career.
“Your style, your voice, and your influence on reggae and the genre’s growth in American pop culture cannot be overstated. You have been recognized the world over for your success as a musician, your leadership, and dedicated philanthropy through the Shaggy Makes a Difference Foundation.”
Shaggy, whose real name is Orville Burrell, received wide cheers of “Shaggy! Shaggy! Shaggy!” from the graduation class of 2020, whose commencement was pushed back due to the pandemic.
While addressing the students, a nervous Shaggy spoke about his humble beginnings as he joked about always wanting to experience college.
“What would the experience be?” Shaggy told students at Brown University. “I was never blessed with the opportunity, I could never afford it, I would have loved to have gotten a college experience and receive higher education. See, I am from a single-parent family and I was raised by my mom and partly by my grandmother. Like most single-parent families, dads weren’t always present. I’m from a small fishing village from the downtown area of Kingston called Rae Town, a place made famous for the sound system.”
Shaggy also spoke about being talented and his passion for music which led to him excelling. Among the greats, he named as his greatest reggae and dancehall heroes are Toots and the Maytals, Bob Andy, Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, and the great Bob Marley and the contemporaries Super Cat, Josey Wales, Barrington Levy, and Yellow Man.
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