Born Calvin Broadus on October 20, 1971, in Long Beach, California. Broadus got the nickname "Snoop" from his mother because she thought he looked like the character in the Peanuts cartoon. After graduating high school, Snoop was arrested several times for drug possession and spent time in prison. He started making music as a way out of his troubles.
Through his friend Warren G, Snoop met famed rapper Dr. Dre, which led to Snoop's start in the music business. His first album, Doggystyle (1993), climbed its way to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's hip-hop and Top 200 charts, based in part on the success of the singles "What's My Name" and "Gin and Juice." His next album, Tha Doggfather (1996), also reached the top of the charts. He scored the top slot on the hip-hop charts with his next two albums: Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told (1998) and No Limit Top Dogg (1999). Snoop became known for his laid-back rapping style and his name has become synonymous with gangster rap of the 1990s. He originally called himself "Snoop Doggy Dogg," but later shortened it to Snoop Dogg.
Snoop continues to make music, scoring his last big hit with the single "Drop It Like It's Hot" in 2004, which reached the top of the hip-hop and pop charts. His 2006 release, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, and the single "That's That Shit" received good critical response. In 2007, Snoop became the first artist to release a track as a ringtone prior to its release as a single, "It's The D.O.G."
The rapper has also branched out into acting and appeared in several films, including 2004's Starsky & Hutch. He has made several guest appearances on television shows, including "The L Word" and "Weeds", and starred in his own E! reality show, "Snoop Dogg's Father Hood", in 2007. The series features his wife, Shante, and their three children, Corde, Cordell and Cori.
Since achieving fame, the popular gangster rap artist has had a number of brushes with the law. In 1990, he was convicted of cocaine possession. Three years later, he pled guilty for gun possession. Snoop was also tried and acquitted of murder charges in 1996. The case involved the killing of an alleged gang member who was shot by someone in the vehicle Snoop was riding in. In 2005, Snoop was sued for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman at the taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2003.
Snoop made legal news again in 2006. He and his posse were taken in custody at a London airport in April after the group got into a fight at the terminal. Later that year, he was arrested at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, after officers found marijuana and a gun in Snoop's vehicle. In 2007, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, citing his prior criminal convictions, banned him from entering the country and appearing at the MTV Australia Video Music Awards.