American rapper Snoop Dogg was born as Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. on October 20th, 1971, in Long Beach, California. He was nicknamed “Snoopy” by his parents because of his love and likeness for the Peanuts cartoon character. In his youth, Snoop Dogg sang and played the piano at church, and he began to rap in the sixth grade, an activity he would frequently do at school. After graduating high school in 1993 and spending a couple of years dealing with his frequent run-ins with the law, Snoop formed a musical group, called 213, together with two cousins and a friend. The group recorded several homemade tapes. One of Snoop’s freestyle solos caught the attention of famous record producer Dr. Dre, who was so impressed that he asked Snoop to audition for his label.
After contributing to Dr. Dre’s debut single and album in 1992, Snoop Dogg released his debut album in 1993, Doggystyle, under Death Row Records. The album was a big success, staying atop charts for several weeks and selling more than 800,000 copies in its first week —something unheard of for a debut artist. Although the critical reviews were mixed, the record is now regarded as one of the most significant albums of the ‘90s, and Snoop Dogg was praised for his rather soft vocals and musical approach, as opposed to the usually loud and violent style of rappers at the time.
In July 1995, Snoop Dogg founded Doggy Style Records, Inc., a subsidiary of Death Row Records, based in California. The following year, he released his second album, Tha Doggfather, with a distinct softer approach to his previous musical style. The album did well but not as good as its predecessor. Also, increasing contractual pressures, royalty issues and label notoriety led him to leave Death Row Records. In 1998, Snoop signed with No Limit Records and premiered his third studio album Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told that same year. He released two more albums with No Limit: Top Dogg in 1999 and Tha Last Meal in 2000. At this point in his career, Snoop was leaving behind his “gangster” persona.
In 2002, Snoop Dogg released a new album, Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, under Priority/Capitol/EMI Records. Two years later, he was signed on to Geffen Records/Star Trak Entertainment. With them, he produced three albums: R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece (2004), Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (2006), and Ego Trippin’ (2008). In 2004, he reunited with his 213 former bandmates, Warren G and Nate Dogg, to release the band’s only studio album, The Hard Way. Snoop’s tenth studio album, Malice ‘n Wonderland (2009) was produced by Priority Records, followed by Doggumentary in 2011. In 2012, Snoop announced he would become “Snoop Lion,” after a trip to Jamaica and coming into contact with Rastafarian culture. A movie, in which he explored reggae and Rastafari culture, and an album, both under the name Reincarnated, came out in March 2013. Snoop has released several more records, all under the Snoop Dogg name: Bush (2015,) Coolaid (2016,) Neva Left (2017,) Bible of Love (2018,) I Wanna Thank Me (2019,) From tha Streets 2 tha Suites (2021,) and BODR (2022.)
Aside from his musical career and collaborations with other artists, Snoop has also appeared in films and TV shows (most notably, sketch-comedy Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, variety show Dogg After Dark, and reality show Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood,) documentaries, and video games. With seventeen Grammy Awards nominations and many other accolades throughout his career, Snoop has sold over 35 million copies worldwide and is the recipient of a Primetime Emmy Award for his performance at the The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show in 2022.