Shaquille O'Neal (Shaq) and Melissa McCarthy have been announced by Amazon as the new celebrity voice options for Alexa. 

In a statement announcing the two new additions posted on Amazon's website, the company said that it's aware that customers "enjoy hearing from their favorite celebrities."

"In fact, when we introduced the Samuel L. Jackson celebrity personality, it quickly became the top selling digital purchase on the day it launched," the announcement reads. 

According to a statement from Melissa McCarthy included in the announcement, she is "excited" to join Alexa and describes the whole process as a "fun experience."

Shaquille O'Neal has also expressed his excitement in being one of the alternative voice options, saying "Shaq is in the house to make your speakers bounce. Boomshakalaka!"

Shaq, Melissa McCarthy as Alexa's Celebrity Voices: How It Works

Shaquille O'Neal
(Photo : MarkScottAustinTX from Wikimedia Commons)

Shaq and McCarthy can be accessed as Alexa's voice options simply by saying "Alexa, introduce me to Shaq" or "Alexa, introduce me to Melissa."

Wake words "Hey Melissa" or "Hey Shaq" can then be used to hear weather reports, jokes, and even personal stories from the two celebrity voices. According to the Amazon announcement, you can even ask Shaq to rap for you. 

Per a report by The Verge, each celebrity voice costs $4.99. Rollouts have already begun in the U.S.

Related Article: Amazon Getting Closer to Taking Alexa Everywhere

Alexa Celebrity Voice Program

Shaq and Melissa McCarthy join Samuel L. Jackson in Alexa's Celebrity Voice Program, which was first launched in 2019 with the "Avengers" star. 

When the feature was first launched, users only had to pay $0.99, according to a report by PC Gamer.

"Customers have had a lot of fun with the Samuel L. Jackson experience on Alexa, and when customers love something, we look for ways to give them more of it," Vice President of Alexa Experience & Echo Devices Toni Reid said in the Amazon announcement. 

Alexa Gets a New Voice

If hearing Shaq or Melissa McCarthy just won't cut it for you or you're somehow sick and tired of Alexa's voice, Amazon has provided another option. 

All users have to say to Alexa is "Alexa, change your voice" to hear the new voice option. A new wake word, "Ziggy," can also be used. Users can say "Alexa, change your wake word" in order to swap it with Ziggy or other available wake words such as Amazon, Echo, and Computer. 

What is Amazon Alexa?

(Photo : Pixabay)

Amazon Alexa, or simply Alexa, is a virtual assistant developed using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. It was initially released in 2013. 

Alexa was first used in the Amazon Echo smart speaker, then featured Echo Dot, Echo Studio, Amazon Tap speakers. In 2017, Alexa for Business was introduced by Amazon.

Users can ask Alexa to do a number of different questions and tasks, including setting alarms, music playback, and weather, news, and sports updates. It can even be asked for a to-do list. 

Also Read: [VIDEO] Amazon's Alexa vs. Google Assistant Chess Match: Who Won, and Some Pointers to Consider

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Written by Isabella James

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