‘Mr Lover Lover’ wows SA audiences

He gave three two-hour performances in three nights and left South Africans literally clamouring for more. Friday’s show was particularly outstanding — as Shaggy said: ‘Johannesburg, you are a great audience!”

In the middle of his chart-topping singalong song It Wasn’t Me, a clear favourite with the audience, he asked: ‘Why do men always get caught but women never do?”

This very much delighted the well-behaved, mostly white audience. It must have boggled the star’s mind why, in a country where black people form the majority, black revellers were few and far between. Even the myth that black people don’t have money for shows would not hold, as the cheapest ticket was a mere R110 and the most expensive R250. Perhaps it was due to the marketing of the organisers, Big Concerts and 94.7 Highveld Stereo.

Mandoza and Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels warmed the stage for the Jamaican raggamaffin musician. Then Shaggy exploded on to the stage and greeted the audience with an all-time favourite, That Girl, and instantly had everyone rocking.

Shaggy has the rare ability to make even the oldest members of the audience dance. He kept them jiving throughout the two-hour performance.

Every song was well performed and well received. But the extended version of It Wasn’t Me has to take the crown. It was pure entertainment. No wonder the song has emerged as one of the biggest hits of the year.

His new album, Hot Shot, confirms Shaggy as a master of many styles — from pop and R&B to reggae and dancehall.

Then of course there was his traditional smooth sexiness, accompanied by the scantily-clad sexy female dancers we have come to expect from ‘Mr Lover Lover”, as Shaggy affectionately refers to himself.

His show was one big party and the joviality was simply imprinted on everyone’s face. If the audience was dissatisfied in any way, it would only be that the show ‘felt” short because they enjoyed every minute of it.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, as Orville Richard Burrell, Shaggy spent his entire adult life in New York City. Music has always been his passion. He says that his musical influences ‘range from ska, dancehall, rock steady to soca and R&B”.

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Bongani Majola
Advocate Bongani Majola is currently the chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission, a seven-year term that commenced on 3 January 2017

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