By Natalya Jones
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Born Carlton Grant in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1969, Benz took his performance name from L.A. Benz, the sound system he once worked for. He rose to fame, as legend goes, thanks to a recording session with acclaimed reggae singer Buju Banton, who allowed the young Benz to freestyle on a couple of tracks. The deep-voiced singer, clearly stylistically influenced by Banton, has risen to moderate success with brief major-label support and collaborations with major artists.
On a nonmusical note, his 17-year-old son, Carlton "Carlisle" Grant Jr., was killed a couple of years back, allegedly by Kingston police. Since then, Benz has been working with his own Carlisle Foundation to help the city's youth.
Major-label crossover-hit slugger Shaggy is known widely for his megahits "It Wasn't Me" and "Angel." He's said to have perfected those signature pipes while enlisted in the U.S. Marines during the first Gulf War. Once he was back from the Middle East, Shaggy scored his first hit in 1993 with "Oh Carolina," followed by the now classic "Boombastic" in 1995.
Both onstage and off, Shaggy's known for constantly surrounding himself with beautiful women. His videos consistently offer plenty of premium eye candy, and his personal life, apparently, is no different. Last summer, after a show at a Russian-clientele club in Germany, Shaggy reportedly took two young beauties, ages 18 and 19, back to his hotel. After he fell asleep, the girls allegedly robbed him of 150,000 euros' worth of jewelry. Oops! See you in Miami, Shaggy — but watch out for those gold diggers.