NEW YORK (AP) -- Matisyahu says it's a relief to no longer be a "poster child" for Orthodox Judaism.
The Jewish reggae and alternative rock singer shocked his fans in the Hasidic community by shaving off his beard last December.
The 33-year-old artist, whose birth name was Matthew Paul Miller, says he had spent the previous decade immersing himself in Judaism, but recently has questioned aspects of his faith and has felt free to move in some new directions.
Matisyahu says Orthodox Jews may actually be relieved to no longer be represented by such an unpredictable artist.
His latest album, "Spark Seeker," will be released this month.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)