Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. (born October 20, 1971), best known by his stage name Snoop Dogg, is an American rapper and actor from Long Beach, California. His music career began in 1992, when he was discovered by Dr. Dre of N.W.A and as a result was prominently featured throughout Dr. Dre’s solo debut album, The Chronic (1992). He has since sold over 21 million albums in United States and 35 million albums worldwide.
Snoop’s debut album, Doggystyle, was released in 1993 under Death Row Records, debuting at number one on both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 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 number one 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. His thirteenth solo studio album, Bush, was released in May 2015.
Snoop Dogg was born in Long Beach, California, the second of three sons. He was named Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. after his stepfather, Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Sr. (December 10, 1948 – November 9, 1985, Los Angeles). His mother is 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. As a boy, his parents nicknamed him “Snoopy” because of his appearance, but they usually addressed him as Calvin at home. His mother and stepfather divorced in 1975.
When he was very young, Broadus began singing and playing piano at the Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church. In sixth grade, he began rapping. He attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School as a member of the class of 1989.
As a teenager, Snoop Dogg frequently ran into trouble with the law. He 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 (including Wayside Jail). Snoop, along with his cousins Nate Dogg and Lil’ ½ Dead, and friend Warren G, recorded homemade 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.
Broadus’ father left the family when he was three months old. A DNA test read by George Lopez on Lopez Tonight revealed Snoop Dogg to be of 71% African, 23% Native American, and 6% European descent.
Snoop married his high school sweetheart, Shante Taylor, on June 12, 1997. On May 21, 2004, he filed for divorce from Taylor, 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 a first cousin of R&B singers Brandy and Ray J, and WWE professional wrestler Sasha Banks.
Since the start of his career, Snoop has been an avowed cannabis smoker, making it one of the trademarks of his image. In 2002, he announced he was giving up cannabis for good; however, that would not last long and in 2013, he claimed to be smoking approximately 80 cannabis blunts a day. He has been certified for medical cannabis in California to treat migraines since at least 2007.
Snoop claimed in a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone magazine that unlike other hip hop artists who had 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 went 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.