Matisyahu Shaves Off Signature Beard

7:00 PM PST 12/13/2011 by Sofia M. Fernandez
Matisyahu/yfrog

The New York artist declared Tuesday, "No more Chassidic reggae superstar."

Orthodox Jewish rapper Matisyahu has shaved off his signature beard.

The "King Without a Crown" artist posted a picture of his new look Tuesday on Twitter, and told fans of the change on his website, "No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me…no alias."

Matisyahu, born Matthew Paul Miller, explained that he grew the beard for religious reasons but now had the confidence to move on without it, "When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality -- not through books but through real life.

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"At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity…to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth.  I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules -- lots of them -- or else I would somehow fall apart.  I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission.

Matisyahu concluded that his clean-shaven face won't slow down his music, "Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth.  And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry…you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair."

Matisyahu was Billboard magazine's reggae artist of the year in 2006. He also collaborated with Akon on an update of his 2009 single "One Day" for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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