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Tired of talking to Alexa? Amazon’s latest promotion lets you switch her voice to Shaquille O’Neal or Melissa McCarthy’s; both were just introduced as the latest celebrity personalities for Alexa on Echo devices.
To activate the new celebrity personalities, say “Alexa, introduce me to Shaq,” or “Alexa, introduce me to Melissa.” After an explanation of the feature, you’ll be prompted to accept a $4.99 fee to buy and install the celebrity personality. The celebrity personalities can also be purchased via Amazon.com.
Once installed, you can ask O’Neal or McCarthy questions by saying phrases such as “Hey Melissa, what’s the weather today?” or “Hey Shaq, give me an update about the NBA finals.” The experiences also deliver some of the celebrities’ unique personalities. You can ask O’Neal to show off his musical ability by saying “Hey Shaq, rap for me,” or you can have McCarthy brighten your day by saying “Hey Melissa, tell me a joke.”
“It’s going to be a fun experience,” O’Neal tells Rolling Stone. “[Amazon] gave me the creative liberty to create the type of content that would resonate with my fans.” And there’s a lot of content, according to the former NBA star-slash-rapper: “I do ‘Hey Shaq give me a rap,’ I do sports updates, I do weather…let’s play rock, paper, scissors [too],” he adds.
Users can also ask Shaq for advice, or ask him to read you a story; O’Neal says he’ll even offer up some recipe tips.
O’Neal is especially excited though to share some new music with fans, saying “The raps are fun. They’re kid-friendly. It’s not Lil Baby or Lil Yatchy but it’s just some kid-friendly cute stuff.” Although overshadowed by his Hall of Fame basketball career, O’Neal has an impressive hip-hop discography that includes four studio albums, two compilation albums, two soundtracks and nine singles.
McCarthy, meanwhile, is equally excited to give fans stories, jokes, alarm sounds and more through Alexa. “That’s right folks, get ready for the vocal stylings of this nasal midwestern gal,” says McCarthy, in a press release. “It’s been such a fun experience working on this project. I hope you all enjoy all my dad jokes! Fun fact — if you hear a slide whistle, it’s my personal one that I brought with me to the recording studio!”
O’Neal and McCarthy’s celebrity personalities follow Samuel L. Jackson’s Alexa voice skill which was introduced in 2019. Jackson’s Alexa skill became the top-selling digital purchase on Amazon.com the day it launched and even included an explicit version to experience the actor’s famous cursing abilities.
Like Jackson, O’Neal and McCarthy were tapped for their instantly recognizable voices. O’Neal’s voice, however, was not always the baritone that it is now; “I used to have a high voice,” recalls the TNT sports analyst. “And then one game against the Boston Celtics, Rick Fox elbowed me in the throat and my voice has been deeper ever since.”
Want to check out all the different Alexa skills available for purchase? See a full list on Amazon.com.