"I LOVE women," declares reggae singer SHAGGY. Going one further he adds, "Women are smarter than men. Without them life would be hell." The 37-year- old Grammy Award winner seems pretty much at peace with his music as with the world. "I don't consider myself a leader but in my field of music but I reckon I'm a significant contributor," is how he likes to sum up his career. But for all the publicity and fame that he has gathered, Shaggy feels there is a downside to life. "I am no more a musician. I'm a celebrity and people would rather see me hanging with some chick, shaking the booty rather than listen to my songs," he rues. He adds that it is the record companies that make the real decision and since "they seem to work well enough I have never questioned it." Shaggy claims that he is often disappointed with his music videos since they never really turn out the way he envisions them. What gives him the ultimate high? "I love live performances - the audience I perform for are unpretentious - if they don't like what you're singing, they boo you and that prompts me to do better," said he.nd just like all the super-duper rich, he concludes that he never really thought of being "so rich" Music he, adds, came to him naturally. That it set the cash registers singing is another story.

SUCHITRA BEHAL