Twenty-five years after he was discovered by Dr. Dre, the artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg remains a cultural phenomenon, with a big stack of platinum albums and a TV cooking show co-starring Martha Stewart. Here, to mark his 46th birthday, are 20 things that may intrigue you about the rap legend.
He's Got a Lot of Names
His first Top 10 hit was 1993's "What's My Name?" and the answer to that question keeps changing. He started out as Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., on October 20, 1971, in Long Beach, California. Professionally, he's been known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Snoop, Snoop Lion and Snoop Todd.
He Sang in Church
As a child, Snoop sang and played piano at the Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church. But he moved on to rapping in the sixth grade.
The Gangsta Thing Wasn't Just a Pose
In his teens, Snoop became a member of the Rollin' 20 Crips of Long Beach (though he later denied ever joining a gang).
He Did Time
His first arrest was right out of high school, for cocaine possession. He found himself in and out of prison for the next three years—young and wild but not always free.
He Stole the Show From Dr. Dre
Snoop was featured on Dr. Dre's 1992 debut album "The Chronic" and his hip-hop career took off. To many, Snoop was the star, not Dre.
He Was Tried for Murder
In 1993, the rapper's bodyguard shot and killed an L.A. gang member, after which both he and Snoop (seen here with his attorney) were charged with murder. It wasn't until 1996 that a jury acquitted them, buying their claim of self-defense.
The Arrest Had an Upside
Publicity from the trial gave a big boost to Snoop's 1993 album, "Doggystyle." It debuted at No. 1, selling over 800,000 copies the first week and becoming the fastest-selling hip-hop album ever.
He Married His High School Sweetheart
Snoop tied the knot with Shante Taylor in 1997. The couple nearly divorced in 2004 but, a few years later, renewed their vows instead. They have three children.
He Can't Keep Up With Willie Nelson
Claiming that he smokes up to 80 blunts a day, Snoop once singled out Willie Nelson as "the only person that's ever smoked me under the table."
He Ventured Into Adult Entertainment
In 2000, Snoop joined with Hustler to produce "Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle." Shot at the rapper's home, it became the year's top-selling adult video.
He Was an Actual Pimp
The rap star admits that, for a brief period in 2003, he tried is hand at pimping. It was "my natural calling," he told Rolling Stone a decade later.
He and David Beckham Are Close Friends
Beckham even taught Snoop's kids to play soccer. "He's my boy," the rapper says. "I love soccer just as he loves hip-hop."
He Started a Football League
The Snoop Youth Football League is a nonprofit geared toward inner-city kids. A huge sports fan, Snoop launched the league in 2005. Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman was the first Snoop alum to win a Super Bowl.
He Made Another Friend Over Potatoes
Snoop and Martha Stewart met in 2008 when they prepared mashed potatoes together on her TV show. They've been friends ever since and now co-host the VH1 cooking show "Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party."
He's in the Wresting Hall of Fame
In 2006, he was inducted into the celebrity arm of the WWE Hall of Fame, joining Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pete Rose and Donald Trump.
Talent Runs in His Family
Snoop's first cousins include the R&B singers Ray J and Brandy (seen here), as well as pro wrestler Sasha Banks.
He Didn't Coin "-izzle"
Although it's often said that he originated the idea of adding "-izzle" to words, Snoop only popularized the practice.
His DNA Was Revealed on TV
After a sample of the rapper's DNA was tested, comedian George Lopez read the results on "Lopez Tonight." Snoop Dogg's blood is 71 percent African, 23 percent Native American and 6 percent European.
Some Say He's a Genius
It has been reported that Snoop's IQ is 147, though the figure has never been verified.
He's Never Won a Grammy
Nominated 17 times, Snoop has never gone home with the award. But he has claimed another prize—total sales of more than 37 million albums worldwide.
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