Shaggy Reveals Why He Turned Down a Spot On Rihanna’s Forthcoming Album

As of writing, Rihanna is working on one of the most anticipated albums of all time. Dubbed R9 by fans, it’s the follow-up to her critically acclaimed album Anti, which came out nearly four years ago.

It’s said to be a reggae album featuring the biggest stars in the genre. But if you were looking forward to an appearance from Shaggy, we have bad news. The two-time Grammy Award winner apparently passed on the opportunity to work on the album after being asked to do something that he disagreed with.

Shaggy and Rihanna
(L-R) Shaggy and Rihanna | Photos by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images North America; Angela Weiss/ AFP

Why Shaggy declined the chance to work with Rihanna

Shaggy said in an interview published in early January that he turned down the opportunity after being asked to audition.

Shaggy — a dancehall legend who is best known for his songs “Boombastic” and “It Wasn’t Me” — didn’t feel that he needed to prove himself, saying auditions should be left to “younger guys.”

“They approached me for the Rihanna project, yeah,” he told the British publication The Daily Star. “There’s a lot of great people involved but for me I didn’t need to audition to be on the record, I’ll leave that to younger guys. But from what I hear, it should be good.”

While it would’ve been a good career move, Shaggy seems to be doing just fine. Judging from his Instagram page, which boasts more than a half a million followers, Shaggy continues to book shows and release music. His twelfth studio album, Wah Gwaan?!, debuted in 2019 to fair reviews.

Musicians who will appear on Rihanna’s forthcoming album

Rihanna hasn’t confirmed anything yet. But she’s named some artists who could potentially appear on the album.

“Though it’s too soon to name a full list of collaborators, one early influence may be Supa Dups, the Jamaican-born record producer who has worked with such dancehall greats as Beenie Man, Sean Paul, and Elephant Man,” writer Chioma Nnandi said in Rihanna’s cover story for Vogue’s June 2018 issue.

Many fans have been hoping that Rihanna will team up with Drake, who collaborated with her on reggae-inspired tunes such as “Work” and “Too Good.” But in a May 2019 interview with The New York Times’ T Magazine, Rihanna said it’s not gonna happen.

“Not anytime soon, I don’t see it happening. Not on this album, that’s for sure,” she said.

When will the album come out?

Rihanna previously said the album would come out at some point in 2019. But as we all know, the year wrapped without any release from the “Needed Me” crooner.

There haven’t been any new updates just yet. But sources have suggested that Rihanna could release the album really soon.

A source told HollywoodLife on Jan. 3 that the album is in its final stages. Producers are reportedly just deciding which songs will make the final cut.

“Rihanna’s focus in 2020 is getting new music out there, she is working hard on songs to fill an album,” the source explained. “She has hundreds of songs and her focus is trying to get 12 to 15 songs for an album, and that is pretty tough.”

Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer.