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‘They Approached Me’: Why Shaggy Turned Down Opportunity to Work with Rihanna on New Album

In October 2019, during an interview with Vogue, Rihanna said that her next album “R9” would be reggae-inspired. So one would probably think the reggae artist Shaggy would be perfect for a guest feature.

It seems that Rihanna and her team thought that as well, because they tapped Shaggy to be on “R9.” But the Jamaican-born artist turned down the opportunity because he was asked to audition.

Shaggy (left) said he turned down the chance to be on the next album by Rihanna (right) for a very specific reason. (Photos: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage via Getty Images, Karwai Tang/Wireimage via Getty Images)

“They approached me for the Rihanna project, yeah,” Shaggy told the Daily Star. “There’s a lot of great people involved, but, for me, I didn’t need to audition to be on the record. I’ll leave that to younger guys. But from what I hear it should be good.”

Achieving fame after he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1988, Shaggy’s first album was 1993’s “Pure Pleasure,” and in May 2019 the 51-year-old released his twelfth studio album, “Wah Gwaan?!”

That project was Shaggy’s first solo album in six years, and the veteran artist said he suffered from insecurity prior to making it.

“I got to a space where I almost started to be a little insecure, because your age is up there, and people around you are like, ‘Oh, you’re not as cool anymore,’” he told Vibe in May.

“You get to a point where a lot of it isn’t really working, and you’re saying, ‘Maybe I should really just get back to me,'” Shaggy continued. “My label rep said something to me: ‘Why don’t you try betting on yourself for a bit?’ As simple as it might sound, I sat down, and I decided to write.”

In regard to Rihanna’s “R9” album, people have been clamoring for it on social media for years now.

That talk only grew louder when it was announced the singer’s Fenty line would be a part of the French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH.

Because Rihanna said during an interview that she doesn’t spend as much time making music these days since she has so many different hats to wear.

“It’s the reason why an album isn’t being spat out like it used to,” she said in Interview magazine back in June. “I used to be in the studio, only the studio, for three months straight and an album would come out.”

So far the Barbadian singer hasn’t responded to Shaggy’s claim that he was asked to audition for “R9,” at least not on Twitter or Instagram.

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