Shaggy has performed at the KTUphoria show at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater so many times that he doesn’t even look at it as belonging to the dance-music station anymore.
“That’s my show,” says the Valley Stream native, laughing. “I look at it as my show for my community… I’m a Long Island guy and I’ve always loved KTU. It’s like family at this point.”
This year, however, Shaggy is bringing someone special home to meet the Long Island family — The Police frontman Sting. Their appearance at KTUphoria on Saturday, June 16 will serve as the kickoff to their international tour, supporting their “44/876” (A&M/Interscope/Cherrytree) album, which arrived in April.
If the partnership between the reggae superstar with hits like “It Wasn’t Me” and the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer known for “Roxanne” seems unusual, it certainly surprised them too. “I wrote a song and didn’t even know if I was going to release it,” Shaggy says of what became their first single, “Don’t Make Me Wait.” “But we just started vibing.”
Their connection turned them into collaborators who quickly finished an entire album of material and will now send them around the world on tour together, including a full show at Pier 17 on Sept. 26.
“All of that is magic,” Shaggy says. “That’s my guy! Sting has taught me so much about the artistry of music, so much about life … We just get along really well.”
And Shaggy says they are simply enjoying working together. “We have nothing to prove,” he says. “We don’t need to get to No. 1. We’ve done so many things, but I think we both needed this excitement. We just wanted to come up with something cool.”
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What Sting and Shaggy have come up with should fit well with the rest of the KTUphoria lineup.
“When you have people like Backstreet Boys, Enrique [Iglesias] and Pitbull, you have a day full of hits,” he says. “And we are two artists with some massive No. 1s. We’re gonna lace you with hits and squeeze in a couple of new songs. We’ve got the biggest singalong anthems. ‘Angel’? Anthem. ‘Boombastic’? Anthem … ‘Roxanne’? ‘Every Breath You Take’? Come on, man. Those songs have crossed into new generations and the perfect place for all these people to come together is at a station like KTU, a diverse kind of place.”
WHEN|WHERE 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16, Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh
INFO $39-$249; 800-745-3000, livenation.com