Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. (born October 20, 1971) is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, and actor, well known by his stage names Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Dogg, and Snoop Lion. He has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. His music career began in 1992 when he was discovered by Dr. Dre. He collaborated on Dre's solo debut The Chronic, and on the theme song to the film Deep Cover. Snoop's debut album, Doggystyle, was released in 1993 under Death Row Records, debuting at #1 on both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. Selling almost a million copies in the first week of its release, Doggystyle became certified 4× platinum in 1994 and spawned several hit singles, including "What's My Name" and "Gin & Juice". In 1994, Snoop released a soundtrack on Death Row Records for the short film Murder Was The Case, starring himself. His second album Tha Doggfather (1996), also debuted at No.1 on both charts with "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" as the lead single. The album was certified double platinum in 1997. After leaving Death Row, Snoop signed with No Limit Records, where he recorded his next three albums. Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told (1998), No Limit Top Dogg (1999), and Tha Last Meal (2000). Snoop then signed with Priority/Capitol/EMI Records in 2002, where he released Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss. He then signed with Geffen Records in 2004 for his next three albums R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, and Ego Trippin'. Malice 'n Wonderland (2009) and Doggumentary (2011), were released on Priority. Snoop Dogg has starred in motion pictures and hosted several television shows including, Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, Snoop Dogg's Father Hood, and Dogg After Dark. He also coaches a youth football league and high school football team. In September 2009, Snoop was hired by EMI as the chairman of a reactivated Priority Records. In 2012, after a trip to Jamaica, Snoop announced a conversion to the Rastafari movement and a new alias, Snoop Lion. Under the new moniker, he released a reggae album, Reincarnated, and a documentary film of the same name, of his Jamaican experience, in early 2013. Life and career: Early life: Named after his stepfather, Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Sr. (December 10, 1948 - November 9, 1985, Los Angeles), Calvin Broadus was born October 20, 1971, at the Los Altos Hospital in Long Beach, California, the second of three sons of Beverly Broadus (née Tate; born April 27, 1951, McComb, Mississippi). His father, Vernall Varnado (born December 13, 1949, Magnolia, Mississippi), was a Vietnam veteran, singer, and mail carrier who was said to be frequently absent from his life. Broadus' parents nicknamed him "Snoopy" as a child because of his appearance, but usually addressed him as Calvin at home. His mother and stepfather divorced in 1975. At an early age, Broadus began singing in Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church and playing piano; when he was in sixth grade, he began rapping. He attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, and was convicted for cocaine possession, serving six months at the Wayside County Jail. As a teenager, Snoop Dogg frequently ran into trouble with the law. Snoop Dogg was a member of the Rollin' 20 Crips gang in the Eastside of Long Beach, although he stated in 1993 that he never joined a gang. Shortly after graduating from high school, he was arrested for possession of cocaine and for the following three years was frequently in and out of prison. Snoop, along with his cousins Nate Dogg and Lil' ½ Dead and friend Warren G, recorded home made tapes as a group called 213, named after the Long Beach area code at the time. One of his early solo freestyles over En Vogue's "Hold On" had made it to a mixtape which was heard by influential producer Dr. Dre, who phoned to invite him to an audition. Former N.W.A member The D.O.C. taught him how to structure his lyrics and separate the thematics into verses, hooks and chorus. 1992-97: Death Row, Doggystyle and Tha Doggfather: When he began recording, Broadus took the stage name Snoop Doggy Dogg. Dr. Dre began working with Snoop Dogg, first on the theme song of the 1992 film Deep Cover, and then on Dr. Dre's debut solo album The Chronic with the other members of his former starting group, Tha Dogg Pound. The huge success of Snoop Dogg's debut Doggystyle was partially because of this intense exposure. To fuel the ascendance of West Coast G-funk hip hop, the singles "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" and "Gin and Juice" reached the top ten most-played songs in the United States, and the album stayed on the Billboard charts for several months.Gangsta rap became the center of arguments for censorship and labeling, with Snoop Dogg often used as an example of violent and misogynistic musicians.Doggystyle, much like The Chronic, featured a host of rappers signed to or affiliated with the Death Row label including Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, Nate Dogg and others. Rolling Stone music critic Touré asserted that Snoop had a relatively soft vocal delivery compared to other rappers: "Snoop's vocal style is part of what distinguishes him: where many rappers scream, figuratively and literally, he speaks softly." A short film about Snoop Dogg's murder trial called Murder Was The Case, was released in 1994, along with an accompanying soundtrack. On July 6, 1995, Doggy Style Records, Inc., a record label founded by Snoop Dogg, was registered with the California Secretary of State as business entity number C1923139. After Snoop Dogg was acquitted of murder charges on February 20, 1996, he and the mother of his son and their kennel of 20 pit bulls moved into a 5,000-square-foot (460 m) home in the hills of Claremont, California and by August 1996 Doggy Style Records, a subsidiary of Death Row Records, signed The Gap Band's Charlie Wilson as one of the record label's first artists. However, by the time Snoop Dogg's second album, Tha Doggfather, was released in November 1996, the price of living (or sometimes just imitating) the gangsta life had become very evident. Among the many notable hip hop industry deaths and convictions were the death of Snoop Dogg's friend and labelmate 2Pac and the racketeering indictment of Death Row co-founder Suge Knight. Dr. Dre had left Death Row earlier in 1996 because of a contract dispute, so Snoop Dogg co-produced Tha Doggfather with Daz Dillinger and DJ Pooh. This album featured a distinct change of style as compared to Doggystyle, and the leadoff single, "Snoop's Upside Ya Head", featured a collaboration with Gap Band frontman Charlie Wilson. While the album sold reasonably well, it was not as successful as its predecessor. However, Tha Doggfather had a somewhat softer approach to the G-funk style. The immediate aftermath of Dr. Dre's withdrawal from Death Row Records, realizing that he was subject to an iron-clad time-based contract (i.e., that Death Row practically owned anything he produced for a number of years), Snoop Dogg refused to produce any more tracks for Suge Knight, other than the insulting "Fuck Death Row", until his contract expired. In an interview with Neil Strauss in 1998, Snoop Dogg stated that though he had been given lavish gifts by his former label they had withheld royalty payments to the artist. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said that after Tha Doggfather, Snoop Dogg began "moving away from his gangsta roots toward a calmer lyrical aesthetic": for instance, Snoop participated in the 1997 Lollapalooza concert tour, which featured mainly alternative rock music. Troy J. Augusto of Variety noticed that Snoop's set at Lollapalooza attracted "much dancing, and, strangely, even a small mosh pit" in the audience. 1998-2006: Signing with No Limit, continued sucess: Snoop signed with Master P's No Limit Records (distributed by Priority/EMI Records) in 1998 and debuted on the label with Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told that year. His other albums from No Limit were No Limit Top Dogg in 1999 (selling over 1,503,865 copies) and Tha Last Meal in 2000 (selling over 1,000,000). In 2001, his autobiography, Tha Doggfather, was published. In 2002, he released the album Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, on Priority/Capitol/EMI Records, selling over 1,300,000 copies. The album featured the hit singles "From tha Chuuuch to da Palace" and "Beautiful", featuring guest vocals by Pharrell. By this stage in his career, Snoop Dogg had left behind his "gangster" image and embraced a "pimp" image. In 2004, Snoop signed to Geffen Records/Star Trak Entertainment both of which are distributed through Interscope Records; Star Trak is headed by producer duo The Neptunes, which produced several tracks for Snoop's 2004 release R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece. "Drop It Like It's Hot" (featuring Pharrell), the first single released from the album, was a hit and became Snoop Dogg's first single to reach number one. His third release was "Signs", featuring Justin Timberlake and Charlie Wilson, which entered the UK chart at #2. This was his highest entry ever in the UK chart. The album sold 1,724,000 copies in the U.S. alone, and most of its singles were heavily played on radio and television. Snoop Dogg joined Warren G and Nate Dogg to form the group 213 and released album The Hard Way in 2004. Debuting at No.4 on the Billboard 200 and No.1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, it included single "Groupie Luv". Together with fellow rappers Lil' Jon, Xzibit and David Banner, Snoop Dogg appeared in the music video for Korn's "Twisted Transistor". Snoop Dogg's appeared on two tracks from Ice Cube's 2006 album Laugh Now, Cry Later, including the single "Go to Church", and on several tracks on Tha Dogg Pound's Cali Iz Active the same year. Also, his latest song, "Real Talk", was leaked over the Internet in the summer of 2006 and a video was later released on the Internet. "Real Talk" was a dedication to former Crips leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams and a diss to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California. Two other singles on which Snoop made a guest performance were "Keep Bouncing" by Too $hort (also with will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas) and "Gangsta Walk" by Coolio. Snoop's 2006 album, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, debuted on the Billboard 200 at No.5 and has sold over 850,000 copies. The album and the second single "That's That Shit" featuring R. Kelly were well received by critics. In the album, he collaborated in a video with E-40 and other West Coast rappers for his single "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)". 2007-12: Ego Trippin', Malice n Wonderland & Doggumentary: In July 2007, Snoop Dogg also made history by becoming the first artist to release a track as a ringtone prior to its release as a single, which was "It's the D.O.G." On July 7, 2007, Snoop Dogg performed at the Live Earth concert, Hamburg. Snoop Dogg has ventured into singing for Bollywood with his first ever rap for an Indian movie Singh Is Kinng; the title of the song is also "Singh is Kinng". He also appears in the movie as himself. The album featuring the song was released on June 8, 2008 on Junglee Music Records. He released his ninth studio album, Ego Trippin' (selling 400,000 copies in the U.S.), along with the first single, "Sexual Eruption". The single peaked at No.7 on the Billboard 100, featuring Snoop using autotune. The album featured production from QDT (Quik-Dogg-Teddy). Snoop was appointed an executive position at Priority Records. His tenth studio album, Malice n Wonderland, was released on December 8, 2009. The first single from the album, "Gangsta Luv", featuring The-Dream, peaked at No.35 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album debuted at No.23 on the Billboard 200, selling 61,000 copies its first week, making it his lowest charting album. His third single, "I Wanna Rock", peaked at No.41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Snoop features on the latest Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach. The fourth single from Malice n Wonderland, titled "Pronto", featuring Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, was released on iTunes on December 1, 2009. Snoop re-released the album under the name More Malice. Snoop collaborated with Katy Perry on the first single from her second mainstream album, "California Gurls", which was released on May 11, 2010. Snoop can also be heard on the track "Flashing" by Dr. Dre and on Curren$y's song "Seat Change". He was also featured on a new single from Australian singer Jessica Mauboy, titled "Get 'em Girls" (released September 2010). Snoop's latest effort was backing American recording artist, Emii, on her second single entitled "Mr. Romeo" (released October 26, 2010 as a follow-up to "Magic"). Snoop also collaborated with American comedy troupe The Lonely Island in their song "Turtleneck & Chain", in their 2011 album Turtleneck & Chain. Snoop Dogg's newest studio album is Doggumentary. The album went through several tentative titles including Doggystyle 2: Tha Doggumentary and Doggumentary Music: 0020 before being released under the final title Doggumentary during March 2011. Snoop was featured on Gorillaz' latest album Plastic Beach on a track called: "Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach" with the The Hypnotic Brass, he also completed another track with them entitled "Sumthing Like This Night" which does not appear on Plastic Beach, yet does appear on Doggumentary. He also appears on the latest Tech N9ne album All 6's and 7's (released June 7, 2011) on a track called "Pornographic" which also features E-40 and Krizz Kaliko. 2012-present: Snoop Lion, Reincarnated: On February 4, 2012, Snoop Dogg announced a documentary, Reincarnated, alongside his new upcoming studio album entitled Reincarnated. The film was released March 21, 2013 with the album slated for release April 23, 2013. On July 20, 2012, Snoop Dogg released a new reggae single, "La La La" under the pseudonym Snoop Lion. Three other songs were also announced to be on the album, "No Guns Allowed," "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks," and "Harder Times." On July 31, 2012, Snoop introduced a new stage name, Snoop Lion. He told reporters that he was rechristened Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest in Jamaica. In response to Frank Ocean coming out, Snoop said hip hop was ready to accept a gay rapper. Snoop recorded an original song for the 2012 fighting game Tekken Tag Tournament 2, titled "Knocc 'Em Down"; and makes a special appearance as a non-playable character in "The Snoop Dogg Stage" arena. In September of the same year, Snoop released a compilation of electronic music entitled Loose Joints under the moniker DJ Snoopadelic, stating the influence of George Clinton's Funkadelic. In an interview with The Fader magazine, Snoop stated "Snoop Lion, Snoop Dogg, DJ Snoopadelic--they only know one thing: make music that's timeless and bangs." In December 2012 Snoop released his second single from Reincarnated, "Here Comes the King". It was also announced that Snoop worked a deal with RCA Records to release Reincarnated in early 2013. Other ventures: Media appearances: Snoop Dogg has appeared in numerous films and television episodes throughout his career. His starring roles in film includes The Wash (with Dr. Dre) and the horror film Bones. He also co-starred with rapper Wiz Khalifa in the 2012 movie Mac and Devin Go to High School which a sequel has been announced. He has had various supporting and cameo roles in film, including Half Baked, Training Day, Starsky & Hutch, and Brüno. He has starred in three television programs: sketch-comedy show Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, variety show Dogg After Dark, and reality show Snoop Dogg's Father Hood (also starring Snoop's wife and children). He has starred in episodes of King of the Hill, Las Vegas, and Monk, as well as three episodes of One Life to Live. He has participated in two Comedy Central Roasts, for Flavor Flav and Donald Trump. Cameo television appearances include episodes of The L Word, Weeds, Entourage, I Get That a Lot, and The Price Is Right. He has also appeared in an episode of the Youtube video series, Epic Rap Battles of History as Moses. In 2000, Snoop (as "Michael J. Corleone") directed Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, a pornographic film produced by Hustler. The film, combining hip hop with x-rated material, was a huge success and won "Top Selling Release of the Year" at the 2002 AVN Awards. Snoop then directed Snoop Dogg's Hustlaz: Diary of a Pimp in 2002 (using the nickname "Snoop Scorsese"). Snoop founded his own production company, Snoopadelic Films, in 2005. Their debut film was Boss'n Up, a film inspired by Snoop Dogg's album R&G, starring Lil Jon and Trina. On March 30, 2008 he appeared at WrestleMania XXIV as a Master of Ceremonies for a tag team match between Maria and Ashley Massaro as they took on Beth Phoenix and Melina. On several occasions, Snoop has appeared at The Players Ball in support of Bishop Don Magic Juan. Juan appeared on Snoop's videos for "Boss Playa,""A.D.I.D.A.C." "P.I.M.P. (Remix)" "Nuthin' Without Me" and "A Pimp's Christmas Song." Style and rap skills: Kool Moe Dee ranks Snoop at No.33 in his book There's a God on the Mic, and says he has "an ultra-smooth, laidback delivery", and "flavor-filled melodic rhyming".Peter Shapiro describes Snoop's delivery as a "molasses drawl" and Allmusic notes his "drawled, laconic rhyming" style.Kool Moe Dee refers to Snoop's use of vocabulary, saying he "keeps it real simple...he simplifies it and he's effective in his simplicity". Snoop is known to freestyle some of his lyrics on the spot for some songs - in the book How to Rap, Lady of Rage says, "Snoop Dogg, when I worked with him earlier in his career, that's how created his stuff... he would freestyle, he wasn't a writer then, he was a freestyler," and The D.O.C. states, "Snoop's rap was a one take willy, but his shit was all freestyle. He hadn't written nothing down. He just came in and started busting. The song was "Tha Shiznit"--that was all freestyle. He started busting and when we got to the break, Dre cut the machine off, did the chorus and told Snoop to come back in. He did that throughout the record. That's when Snoop was in the zone then." Peter Shapiro says that Snoop debuted on "Deep Cover" with a "shockingly original flow - which sounded like a Slick Rick born in South Carolina instead of South London" and adds that he "showed where his style came from by covering Slick Rick's 'La Di Da Di'". Referring to Snoop's flow, Kool Moe Dee calls him "one of the smoothest, funkiest flow-ers in the game".How to Rap also notes that Snoop is known to use syncopation in his flow to give it a laidback quality, as well as 'linking with rhythm' in his compound rhymes, using alliteration, and employing a "sparse" flow with good use of pauses. Snoop re-popularized the use of -izzle speak, particularly in the pop and hip-hop music industry. Personal life: Broadus's father left the family when Broadus was three months old. A DNA test read by George Lopez on Lopez Tonight revealed Snoop Dogg to be of 23% Native American, 6% European, and 71% African descent. Snoop married his high school sweetheart, Shante Taylor, on June 12, 1997. On May 21, 2004, he filed for divorce from Shante, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple renewed their wedding vows on January 12, 2008. The couple have three children together: sons Cordé (born 1994) and Cordell (born 1997), and daughter Cori (born 1999). He is first cousin to R&B singers Brandy and Ray J. Since the start of his career, Snoop has been an avowed marijuana smoker, making it one of the trademarks of his image. In 2002, he announced he was giving up marijuana for good; however, by 2013 he claimed to be smoking approximately 80 marijuana blunts a day. Snoop claimed in a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone magazine that unlike other hip hop artists who've superficially adopted the pimp persona, he was an actual professional pimp in 2003 and 2004, saying "That shit was my natural calling and once I got involved with it, it became fun. It was like shootin' layups for me. I was makin' 'em every time". He goes on to say that upon the advice of some of the other pimps he knew, he eventually gave up pimping to spend more time with his family. Snoop is an avid sports fan, including hometown teams Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers and USC Trojans, as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers. He stated his began following the Steelers in the 1970s while watching the team with his grandfather. He is also a fan of the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, often wearing a No.5 jersey, and has been seen at Raiders training camps. He has shown affection for the New England Patriots, having been seen performing at Gillette Stadium. He is also an avid hockey fan, sporting jerseys from the Pittsburgh Penguins now-defunct Springfield Indians in his 1994 music video "Gin And Juice". On his reality show Snoop Dogg's Father Hood, Snoop and his family received lessons on playing hockey from the Anaheim Ducks, then returning to the Honda Center to cheer on the Ducks against the Vancouver Canucks in the episode "Snow in da Hood". A certified football coach, Snoop Dogg has been head coach for his son Cordell's youth football teams and the John A. Rowland High School team. Cordell plays wide receiver and defensive back, with current athletic scholarship offers from UCLA, Washington and Duke University. In 2009, it was reported that Snoop Dogg was a member of the Nation of Islam. On March 1, 2009, he made an appearance at the Nation of Islam's annual Saviours' Day holiday, where he praised minister Louis Farrakhan. Snoop claimed to be a member of the Nation, but declined to give the date on which he joined. He also donated $1,000 to the organization. Claiming to be "born again" in 2012, the gangster rapper converted to the Rastafari movement, switched the focus of his music to reggae and changed his name to "Snoop Lion" following a trip to Jamaica. With an upcoming reggae album Reincarnated, Snoop Lion claimed at a press conference to be the reincarnation of Bob Marley, the Jamaican reggae legend who died in 1981. In January 2013, he received criticism from members of the Rastafarian community in Jamaica, including reggae artist Bunny Wailer, for an alleged failure to meet the commitments to the culture. Snoop later dismissed the claims, stating his beliefs were personal and not up for outside judgment. Wailer is credited for giving Snoop the name "Lion". In an interview with The Huffington Post when asked about same-sex marriage, he replied "people can do what they want", and "you should have the right to do whatever you want". Legal incidents: Shortly after graduating from high school, he was arrested for possession of cocaine and for the following three years was frequently in and out of prison. In 1990, he was convicted of felony possession of drugs and possession for sale. While recording Doggystyle in August 1993, Snoop Dogg was arrested in connection with the death of Phillip Woldermarian, a member of a rival gang who was shot and killed by Snoop's bodyguard, McKinley Lee; Snoop was charged with murder along with Lee as he was driving the vehicle from which the shooting had commenced. Snoop and Lee were defended by Johnnie Cochran. Both Snoop and Lee were acquitted; Lee was acquitted on grounds of self-defense, but Snoop Dogg remained entangled in the legal battles around the case for three years. In July 1993, Snoop was stopped for a traffic violation and a firearm was found by police while conducting a search of his car. In February 1997, he pleaded guilty to possession of a handgun and was ordered to record three public service announcements, pay a $1,000 fine, and serve three years' probation. In September 2006, Snoop Dogg was detained at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California by airport security, after airport screeners found a collapsible police baton in Snoop's carry-on bag. Donald Etra, Snoop's lawyer, told deputies the baton was a prop for a musical sketch. Snoop was sentenced to three years' probation and 160 hours of community service for the incident starting in September 2007. Snoop Dogg was arrested again October 2006 at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank after being stopped for a traffic infraction; he was found in possession of marijuana and a firearm, according to a police statement. The following month, after performing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he was arrested again for possession of marijuana and a firearm. In April 2007, he was sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence, five years' probation, and was required to perform 800 hours of community service after pleading no contest to two felony charges of drug and gun possession by a convicted felon. In April 26, 2006, Snoop Dogg and members of his entourage were arrested after being turned away from British Airways' first class lounge at Heathrow Airport. Snoop and his party were denied entry to the lounge due to some members flying in economy class. After being escorted outside, the group vandalized a duty-free shop with whiskey bottles. Seven police officers were injured in the midst of the disturbance. After a night in jail, Snoop and the other men were released on bail the next day, but he was unable to perform a scheduled concert in Johannesburg. On May 15, the Home Office decided that Snoop Dogg would be denied entry to the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future, and his British visa was denied the following year. As of March 2010, Snoop Dogg has been allowed back into the UK. The group involved in the incident have been banned by British Airways for "the foreseeable future." In April 2007, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship banned him from entering the country on character grounds, citing his prior criminal convictions. He had been scheduled to appear at the MTV Australia Video Music Awards on April 29, 2007. Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship lifted the ban in September 2008 and had granted him visa to tour Australia. DIAC said "In making this decision, the department weighed his criminal convictions against his previous behaviour while in Australia, recent conduct - including charity work - and any likely risk to the Australian community ... We took into account all relevant factors and, on balance, the department decided to grant the visa." He was banned from entering Norway for two years in July 2012 after entering the country the month before in possession of 8 grams of cannabis and an undeclared kr 227,000 in cash. Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, and The Game were sued for assaulting a fan on stage at a May 2005 concert at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington. The accuser, Richard Monroe, Jr., claimed he was beaten by the artists' entourage while mounting the stage, allegedly after an "open invite". The lawsuit, which sought $22 million in damages, was dismissed in 2009. Snoop Dogg has been arrested and fined for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Los Angeles in 1998, in Cleveland in 2001, and Sierra Blanca, Texas in 2010.