Hasidic reggae star Matisyahu shaves off his beard

December 13, 2011 - 7:15 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City-based Hasidic reggae superstar Matisyahu (ma-tis-YAH'-hoo) is on a new religious path, but it's unclear which one.

The Jewish singer shaved off his beard and posted the bare-faced photos Tuesday on Twitter. He says on his website he once felt the need for lots of religious rules so he wouldn't fall apart. Now he says he's reclaiming himself.

But it's unclear whether he's leaving Orthodoxy. He says he's still going to synagogue each day.

His spokeswoman says he isn't giving interviews.

Matisyahu was a musical curiosity who became a mainstream star after his 2004 debut, "Shake Off The Dust ... Arise." He sported the bushy beard, flat-brimmed black hat, black pants and white shirt worn by Hasidic men.

His biggest single, "King Without a Crown," was a crossover hit.