Lauryn Hill Biography

25 May 1975, South Orange, New Jersey, USA. The multi-talented Hill originally balanced an acting career, which included a cameo in the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit, with her degree course and membership of the Fugees. The trio, comprising Hill and rappers Pras and Wyclef Jean, shot to hip-hop super stardom when their second album The Score became a huge international success in 1996. Hill began work on her self-produced debut after giving birth to a son by Rohan Marley, and writing for Aretha Franklin’s 1998 comeback set A Rose Is Not A Rose. She also directed videos for Franklin and Common through her production company, Zion Films. The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill was released in September 1998, and went straight in at number 1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. In the process, Hill became the first female solo artist to sell more than 400, 000 units in the first week of release. The album stayed at the top for three weeks before being knocked off by Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals, but returned to the top a week later. It also proved to be a worldwide bestseller, debuting at number 2 in the UK album chart in October. Although it featured some stellar guest appearances from artists including Mary J. Blige (on ‘I Used To Love Him’) and D’Angelo (‘Nothing Even Matters’), the album was dominated by Hill’s singular presence. The lead-off singles, ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’ (US number 1/UK number 3) and ‘Ex-Factor’ (US number 22/UK number 4), showcased her winning blend of soulful vocals and hip-hop rhythms, while on ‘Forgive Them Father’ she explored a roots reggae direction. Hill set a new record for a female artist at the 1999 Grammies, walking away with five awards (Best New Artist, Album Of The Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album). The wait for Hill’s eagerly anticipated second album was broken in 2002 by the release of a sprawling unplugged album for MTV. She rejoined Wyclef and Pras in the Fugees in 2005.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.