He let the dogs out!

DENIS ARMSTRONG

, Last Updated: 4:38 PM ET

OTTAWA -- When Caribbean entertainer Anslem Douglas hits the Massive Soca Explosion stage this weekend, everyone at the Good Companions Centre will be hit with the same revelation.

So this is the guy who let the dogs out.

The calypso singer-songwriter, formerly a favourite of the Caribbean carnival crowd, struck paydirt last year with Who Let The Dogs Out, a song that hit so big it's sold 3 million copies in the U.S. alone and won a Grammy.

Originally written for the 1998 Calypso Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, Who Let The Dogs Out, with its funny-yet-scolding lyrics and playful chorus, became a calypso favourite.

"Back in 1996, some men in Trinidad and Tobago took to calling women a bad name. I didn't like it, so I wrote the song about what dogs those men are for the ladies."

Flush with success, the 36-year-old Douglas knew the tune had legs for mainstream North American charts. He moved to Toronto, his wife Sharon's hometown.

So did the Baha Men, the extremely popular Bahamian band, who gave the calypso favourite a new leaner, beefier hip-hop personality.

"At first, I didn't like their version," recalls Douglas from his Whitby home. "But when it became so popular, I was happy for the success."

While the song's popularity has made him, "comfortable, not rich," it's bigger than the rest of his career.

"It's my signature song. I have to perform it even when I don't want to."

But its success also leaves him wondering what to do for an encore.

"I want to be the one who takes calypso into the mainstream. That would give me real joy," he says.

The weekend's bacchanal starts Friday with local Zouk group The Magic Circle and DJs Soca Kid and Eclipse International.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. For more information, call Magic Productions at 729-1408 or see the Massive Soca website at http://come.to/massivesoca


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