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Matisyahu: The Most Lovable Oddball!

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Matisyahu, whose real name is Matthew Paul Miller, was born in 1979.  Thus, Matisyahu is the Hebrew name this popular Hasidic Jewish reggae artist uses.  In spite of the fact that Matisyahu was born in Pennsylvania, he is part of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community in Brooklyn, New York.  His music is considered to be a great fusion of reggae, guitar solos and traditional rap.  One amazing thing about this artist is that his group of fans is made up of people with varied beliefs, religions, ethnicities and walks of life.

Matisyahu’s themes in his songs always deal with, according to his own opinion, teachings that have inspired him before.  Moreover, his songs are almost all in English; however, some words in Yiddish and Hebrew are included in them too.  It is interesting that he does not perform on Friday nights nor Shabbat (Saturdays) since it is forbidden for Jews.  This year, Matisyahu received an Esky award for the Most Lovable Oddball.  In fact, the magazine considered him to be “the most intriguing reggae artist in the world”.

Matisyahu has recorded and released four different albums so far.  The first one of them, which was launched in 2004 and is called Shake Off the Dust… Arise.  Nevertheless, it did not chart.  Five months later, on April 19, 2005, he released Live at Stubb’s, which is a live disc and went gold.  This reached #30 on the US Billboard chart.  March 2006, Matisyahu launched two discs titled Youth and Youth Dub, which of course, have not charted yet.  Thus, Matisyahu proves that a different combination of genres and being original may make a person succeed!

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