He was born Calvin Broadus in Long Beach, Calif. The story goes he was nicknamed Snoop because he looked like Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoons. He told CBS News' Lee Cowan he's not sure where the name came from.
But his was hardly a Peanuts upbringing - and his music spoke of crime-ridden neighborhoods in poetic, often vivid detail, so much so critics argued he glorified the gangster lifestyle.
He joined a gang, sold crack, went to jail, and was even charged with murder at one point, but later acquitted.
Beginning with his 1993 album, "Doggystyle," Snoop Dogg has released 16 rap albums (include 5 collaborations), which have sold more than 30 million copies. He's been nominated 13 times for a Grammy, but so far without a win.
"I am the Susan Lucci of the Grammys," he laughed. "Crown me Susan Lucci!"
AcquittalRapper Snoop Dogg holds his head after hearing the not-guilty verdict, February 20, 1996, on first- and second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of a gang member. He is being hugged by his bodyguard McKinley Lee (left), who was also acquitted of the same charges, as his attorney David Kenner (right) looks on. Jurors were deadlocked on a lesser count of voluntary manslaughter.
Snoop Dogg performs in the film "Baby Boy."
In addition to cameo appearances in films and on TV, he has also acted in roles in the films "Training Day," "Old School," "Soul Plane," and as Huggy Bear in the film version of "Starsky & Hutch."
Staples CenterRapper Snoop Dogg drives to the basket during the Mid-Summers Night Magic Basketball game August 5, 2001 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Califorina. Proceeds went to the Magic Johnson Foundation Taylor Michaels Scholarship Fund.
Snoop Dogg & Shante TaylorSnoop Dogg and his wife Shante are seen at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, October 23, 2001.
StonysActor and rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg attends the 3rd Annual Stonys, presented by High Times magazine, March 3, 2002, at B.B. King Blues Bar and Grill in New York City.
Snoop Dogg & Halle BerryRapper Snoop Dogg and actress Halle Berry pose at the after-party for the premiere of "Catwoman," at the Cinerama Dome on July 19, 2004 in Los Angeles.
New York CityRapper Snoop Dog performs on the "Best of Both Worlds" tour, November 1, 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Video Game AwardsSingers Snoop Dogg (right) and Pharrell perform onstage at the 2004 Spike TV Video Game Awards at Barker Hanger on December 14, 2004 in Santa Monica, California.
ParisRap musician Snoop Dogg performs on stage at Paris-Bercy center February 17, 2005, in Paris.
Snoop Dogg & "50 Cent"Rappers Snoop Dogg and "50 Cent" arrive at the premiere of "Get Rich Or Die Trying," at Grauman's Chinese Theater on November 2, 2005 in Hollywood, California.
Snoop Youth Football League
In 2005 Dogg founded the Snoop Youth Football League, catering to inner-city kids. One graduate of the SYFL is Denver Bronco Ronnie Hillman.
"When these kids see me, 98 percent of them call me 'Coach Snoop,'' he told Lee Cowan, "and that's the greatest feeling in the world when a kid call you coach."
He said being a youth coach has made him "a better person, a better father, better husband … I became a more humble, more loving caring individual, that has more of an ear to hear what's going on as opposed to trying to direct what's going on."
MTV Video Music AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg and wrestler Hulk Hogan arrive at the MTV 2006 Video Music Awards Forum at Radio City Music Hall in the Grand Lounge on August 30, 2006 in New York City.
MTV Video Music AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg speaks onstage at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall August 31, 2006 in New York City.
MTV Europe Music AwardsSnoop Dogg exhales after accepting a cigarette from a fan whilst performing on stage with Pharrell Williams during the 13th annual MTV Europe Music Awards 2006 at the Radhausplasden on November 2, 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
American Music AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg poses in the press room at the 2006 American Music Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on November 21, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.
Exit Music FestivalRapper Snoop Dogg performs on stage during a concert at the Exit Music Festival in the Serbian town of Novi Sad, July 15, 2007.
Flavor Flav & Snoop Dogg"Roastee" rapper Flavor Flav (left) and rapper Snoop Dogg arrive at the "Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav," at the Warner Bros. Studio Lot, July 22, 2007 in Burbank, California.
American Music AwardsMusicians Slash and Snoop Dogg pose in the press room at the 2007 American Music Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 18, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.
J.A.M. AwardsSnoop Dogg performs onstage at the 2007 J.A.M. Awards and Concert at Hammerstein Ballroom on November 29, 2007 in New York City.
Behind The Lens AwardHip-Hop artist Snoop Dogg and his wife, Shante Taylor, arrive at Chrysler LLC's 6th Annual Behind The Lens Award, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on March 26, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.
Charlie Wilson & Snoop DoggSinger Charlie Wilson (left) and rapper Snoop Dogg perform during the taping of "Idol Gives Back," at the Kodak Theatre on April 6, 2008 in Hollywood, California.
CMT Music AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg poses in the press room during the 2008 CMT Music Awards at the Curb Events Center at Belmont University on April 14, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Sydney, AustraliaRapper Snoop Dogg performs on stage at the Acer Arena October 31, 2008 in Sydney, Australia.
Grammy AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg arrives with his wife, Shante Taylor Broadus, for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, on February 8, 2009.
BET AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg and singer Jamie Foxx perform onstage during the 2009 BET Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on June 28, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
American Music AwardsRecording artist Snoop Dogg attends the 2009 American Music Awards press conference held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on October 13, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
American Music AwardsRecording artists Snoop Dogg, Paula Abdul and Adam Lambert pose during the 2009 American Music Awards press conference held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on October 13, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
Miami BeachSnoop Dogg perofrms at the Super Skins Kick-Off Party at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach on February 4, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida.
The Evil EmpireSnoop Dogg launches the Adidas Originals X Star Wars Collection at Foot Locker Times Square on February 4, 2010 in New York City.
Kid's Choice AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg and his family arrive at Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kid's Choice Awards held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on March 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
MTV Movie AwardsKaty Perry and Snoop Dogg perform onstage at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, held at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios on June 6, 2010 in Universal City, California.
Snoop Dogg & Donald TrumpSnoop Dogg and Donald Trump attend the "Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump," at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 9, 2011 in New York City.
Kids' Choice AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg gets slimed while performing during Nickelodeon's 24th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at Galen Center on April 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Billboard Music AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg and musician Justin Bieber pose onstage with musical group Far East Movement during the 2011 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
BMI Urban AwardsRappers The Game and Snoop Dogg and musician Bootsy Collins perform at the 11th Annual BMI Urban Awards at the Pantages Theater on August 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Las VegasRapper Snoop Dogg performs at the Keep Memory Alive foundation's "Power of Love Gala," celebrating Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena February 18, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event benefitted the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center.
Snoop Dogg & Tupac ShakurRapper Snoop Dogg (left) and a hologram of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur perform onstage during Day 3 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 15, 2012 in Indio, California.
Toronto International Film FestivalRapper Snoop Lion speaks onstage at the "Reincarnated" press conference during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 7, 2012 in Toronto, Canada.
Video Game AwardsRapper Snoop Lion (center) is seen onstage during Spike TV's 10th annual Video Game Awards at Sony Studios on December 7, 2012 in Culver City, California.
MTV Movie AwardsRapper Snoop Dogg and singer Ke$ha speak onstage during the 2013 MTV Movie Awards at Sony Pictures Studios on April 14, 2013 in Culver City, California.
Snoop Dogg's latest, released under the pseudonym Snoop Lion, is a reggae album, "Reincarnated." It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
"Turbo"Snoop Dogg attends the premiere of "Turbo," at the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona on June 25, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.
BET AwardsSnoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake perform onstage during the 2013 BET Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Kennedy Center Honors
At the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2013 Snoop Dogg paid tribute to jazz great Herbie Hancock.
Today Snoop Dogg's songs rail against guns and violence, a musical about-face: "You know I have no regret about what I did, 'cause I did it to the fullest," he said. "But as you get older, you get wiser, and now that I'm wiser, I want to give, you know, some light to the situation and give them another avenue, another door to walk through."
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By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan