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Shaggy Reveals He Got His Signature Voice by 'Mocking Drill Instructors' in the Marines: 'It Sounded Cool'

The musician and rapper opened up about the origin of his sound in TikTok video on Saturday

<p>Courtesy of Smirnoff ICE</p> Shaggy at Webster Hall in New York City in May 2024

Courtesy of Smirnoff ICE

Shaggy at Webster Hall in New York City in May 2024

Shaggy's real voice might shock you.

On Saturday, the singer/rapper — whose real name is Orville Richard Burrell CD — opened up about how he got his signature sound in a TikTok video.

"I got this voice by mocking drill instructors in the military because in the Marines the drill instructors would go 'Yeah boy, drop and give me 20. Let's go, boy.' And I would mock them as a form of joking because it motivated, you know, your platoon. I just sang that song in that voice because that, it sounded cool," Shaggy, 55, said referring to songs like his 1995 track "Boombastic" where he sings the lyrics, "Mr. Lover."

Related: Shaggy Says Fans Have Misunderstood 'It Wasn't Me' for Decades: 'It's an Anti-Cheating Song' (Exclusive)

The "It Wasn't Me" artist then explained how the success of his 1993 cover of "Oh Carolina" made him face whether or not he needed to sing in the same voice throughout his career.

"All of a sudden 'Oh Carolina' blew up and now I'm faced with the situation that I'm going to have to sing every song like that. If you've listened to songs like 'Big Up' or 'Mampie', those songs are sung in a different voice than 'Oh Carolina.' It's a different tone. It is not the same tone as I would on, you know, 'Oh Carolina,'" Shaggy said.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the two-time Grammy winner enlisted in the Marines in 1988 as an artilleryman, serving with 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which was at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Shaggy and his regiment deployed to the Middle East from December 1990 to April 1991, during the liberation of Kuwait, also known as Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Throughout his tenure in the Marines, he earned "the highest rank of lance corporal after having been reduced in rank twice for UA, or unauthorized absence," which he said were due to him not making it back to the base in time after going to New York City to work on his music career, per the website.

By 1992, Shaggy was discharged from the Marines.

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Related: TLC and Shaggy Are Teaming Up for the Ultimate Y2K Summer Tour with En Vogue and Sean Kingston

In August 2023, the "Angel" singer opened up to PEOPLE about the longtime "misconception" about his 2000 hit "It Wasn't Me."

"That song is not a cheating song. It's an anti-cheating song. It's just that nobody listened to the record to the end. There's a part in the record where it's a conversation between two people and you have one guy, which is me at that point, giving that bad advice, like, 'Yo, bro, how could you get caught? Just tell her, ‘It wasn't me,’' and then at the end, the guy says, 'I'm going to tell her that I'm sorry for the pain that I've caused. I've been listening to your reasoning, it makes no sense at all. Going to tell her that I'm sorry for the pain that I've caused. You might think that you're a player, but you're completely lost,'" Shaggy said.

He added: "Nobody hears that part! That's what the song says. But everybody's just caught up on that, 'It wasn't me, it wasn't me.'

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