Jamaican internationally acclaimed recording artiste Shaggy spoke at a press conference held at the Bustamante Children’s Hospital in Kingston this week and dispelled the widespread speculations that he had misused the proceeds from the last staging of Shaggy and Friends.
The Gleaner newspaper published an article on Sunday that incited the woeful assumption. The headline read in part: “Hospital Yet To Benefit From $100m Raised At 2018 Shaggy And Friends Charity Concert.” It was then assumed by most that the veteran dancehall deejay did not have the large sum that was promised to the children’s hospital.
Shaggy appeared heartbroken that he even had to defend himself against the slanderous threat to his credibility. “The money has been in the account,” Shaggy said. “We never touch the money, we never move wid di money, we never carry it noweh. The money has been there the whole time It’s earmarked for an ICU. We will be turning it over to the Bustamante Hospital for Children to do this new project with Dr. Kenneth Benjamin and the hospital.”
The renowned reggae/dancehall artiste redeemed his good name and further invalidated recent claims by displaying a signed letter from the Scotiabank that cited the $112 million account balance held in the name “Shaggy and Friends.” The letter was dated November 11, 2019, and signed by the Senior operations Officer for Service and Support and The Business Banking Manager. “I have no problem turning over the full amount with you to be honest with you,” Shaggy explained. He went on to share that the success of the charity event caused sponsors to gradually slip away, so they normally keep a stipend to offset the costs of the next concert they plan. He also explained that he will have a sit down with his core team and decide how to move forward.
Shaggy was even more disappointed about the fact that he spoke with the publication prior to this article coming out. This implies that they knew the truth but still published the suspicious headline. “Let’s not take this from what it is. Whatever unu tabloid or deflection or whatever a gwaan ina unu politics, have nothing to do with the children of Jamaica,” Shaggy stated firmly.
After the press conference, Shaggy spoke to Winford Williams from Onstage in an interview. When asked why he did not have Scotiabank or someone come out sooner, Shaggy revealed his reservations about the local media and the print media in particular. “I couldn’t trust the media at this point. This was in my eye a trusted media source that misled us because the conversation was had before and it was explained… but then the headline was misleading,” Shaggy said. “Now let me see who print what because it is now covered by many people that can account it.”
Shaggy’s understandable skepticism with the media is warranted based on what he’s explained. One fan said it best when she wrote, “Can’t believe they try to tear down Shaggy, this man do so much for the country,” and many others concurred with a thumbs up. This was definitely a huge ‘L’ for the “trusted media source” that almost rained a defaming storm on Shaggy’s career. We’re glad he iced the rumors but also sad his name was dragged into this uncharacteristic narrative in the first place.