Biography – The Fugees

The Fugees are an American music group, popular during the mid-1990s, whose repertoire includes primarily hip hop, with elements of soul, and Caribbean music (particularly reggae). The members of the group are leader/rapper/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel. Both Jean and Michel are of Haitian heritage; Hill is an African American native of South Orange, New Jersey. Deriving their name from the term “refugee”, the group is noted for the integration of soul and reggae into their work, and recorded two albums—one of which, The Score, was a multi-platinum and Grammy-winning success—before going their separate ways after 1997. Hill and Jean each went on to successful solo recording careers, while Michel focused mainly on soundtrack recordings and acting.

The trio released their first LP, Blunted on Reality, after a long period of performing, but the album failed to live up the expectations of fans who attended their concerts. Despite the relative failure of their first album, The Score became one of the biggest hits of 1996 . The Fugees were known for their unusual choice of covers and sampling sources on both albums; The Score, for example, included covers of “No Woman No Cry” (Bob Marley & the Wailers) and “Killing Me Softly (With His Song)” (Roberta Flack), which was their biggest pop hit. The album also included a re-interpretation of The Delfonics’ “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love)” in their hit single “Ready or Not” which used a sample from Boadicea by Enya without her permission. This prompted a lawsuit resulting in a settlement where Enya was given credit and royalties for her sample. The Fugees won two 1997 Grammy Awards: The Score won for Best Rap Album, and “Killing Me Softly With His Song” won for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.The group also recorded a cover of the rock band Queen’s hit Bohemian Rhapsody,although it garnered much criticism.

After 1997, the Fugees all began solo projects. Hill started work on her critically acclaimed The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Jean began producing for a number of artists (including Destiny’s Child and Carlos Santana) and recorded his debut album The Carnival. Michel, with Mya and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, recorded the single “Ghetto Supastar” for the soundtrack to the Warren Beatty/Halle Berry film Bulworth. After each member found success in other ventures, the Fugees failed to reform. Though the Fugees remain tight-lipped about the exact reasons, most fans believe that a serious personality conflict between Hill and Jean contributed to the breakup following The Score.

In September 2004, it was announced that The Fugees had settled their differences and were currently working on a new album. They appeared onstage together at an exclusive block party in New York City that month, hosted by Dave Chappelle. On June 28, 2005, they opened the BET awards with a surprise performance featuring several of their hit songs. They are now planning to do another album together and have released the first single off that album, “Take It Easy.” The album has a December 27th release date.

As of December 2005, the Fugees have embarked on a European tour, which is their first tour since 1997.

source: wikipedia

Biography – Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill (born May 25, 1975 in South Orange, New Jersey), or Ms. Hill as she now likes to be called, is a Hip-hop/Soul/World/Folk artist, and record producer, initially establishing her reputation as the most visible and vocal member of The Fugees, then continued on to a solo career releasing “The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill”.

Early career and The Fugees
Lauryn Hill attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ, where she began singing and acting at a very young age. Hill’s acting roles included the TV show As the World Turns (as “Kira Johnson” in 1991), and the film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, the latter of which showcased her vocal abilities. Though the Fugees had originally formed in 1988, Hill’s membership was disrupted by her acting and her education at Columbia University. The Fugees’ first album, Blunted on Reality, was much-hyped but fell far short of expectations. This was followed by The Score, a multi-platinum selling album that established all three Fugees (Hill, Pras Michel and Wyclef Jean) as international successes.

Hill’s other acting work includes the film King of the Hill (as “Arletta the Elevator Operator”), the play “Club 127,” and the motion pictures Hav Plenty (1997) and Restaurant (1998). She appeared as a singer in the soundtracks for Conspiracy Theory in 1997 (on the track “Can’t take My Eyes Off You”) and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood in 2002 (on the track “Selah” ).

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
In 1998, Hill released The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, a critically and commercially acclaimed album that has often been described as one of the finest albums ever made. Among the singles on the album was “Doo Wop (That Thing).” In 1999’s Grammy Awards, Hill was nominated eleven times and won Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album, setting a new record for a female performer. The album’s title was inspired by Carter G. Woodson’s book, The Miseducation of the Negro.

Soon after, Hill and her recording company were sued by Vada Nobles, Rasheem Pugh, Johari Newton and Tejumold Newton, known as “New Ark Entertainment,” who claimed to have been denied full credit and compensation for their assistance on the album. They received an undisclosed amount of money and were given credit for drum programming and a small amount of lyrical, instrumental and production work.

Humanitarism, activism, and MTV: Unplugged 2.0 album
Hill is noted as a humanitarian, and in 1996 she received an Essence Award for work which has included the 1996 founding of the Refugee Project, an outreach organization that supports a two-week overnight camp for at-risk youth, and for supporting well-building projects in Kenya and Uganda, as well as for staging a rap concert in Harlem to promote voter registration. In 1999 Hill received three awards at the 30th Annual NAACP Image Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California. She was named with Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and others among the “10 For Tomorrow,” in the EBONY 2000: Special Millennium Issue. In 1999 Ebony magazine named her one of “100+ Most Influential Black Americans.”

In 2002, Lauryn Hill unveiled her feverishly-anticipated new material on an MTV Unplugged special. Fans had waited three long years for Hill’s follow-up to the critical and commercial smash hit, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Those fans who were chosen to be audience members for the MTV filming had high expectations of the former Fugees frontwoman. What they got was a stripped-down performance by an almost unrecognizable Hill, who had recently cut off her hair and wore plain clothing. The Unplugged 2.0 album showed a different side of Hill, as she focused more on the lyrics and the message she was spreading rather than the musical arrangements. Hill used the set as an opportunity to explain why she had been absent from the world for a period of time. The album was released to mixed reviews. While some critics praised Hill’s bold new direction, others called the album’s songs “unlistenable”.

On December 13, 2003, Hill shocked officials at the Vatican by denouncing “corruption, exploitation, and abuses,” in reference to the child molestation of boys by Catholic officials in the United States of America and the cover-up of offenses by Catholic Church officials. Among those in attendance were Edmund Cardinal Szoka, American-born President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City, and President of the Governatorate of Vatican City. Two days later Pope John Paul II told a group of Bishops from Sudan that, “Scandalous behavior must at all times be investigated, confronted and corrected” in the Catholic Church.

Return of the Fugees
The three Fugees were reunited on September 18, 2004 at Dave Chappelle’s Block Party in Brooklyn, New York. They headlined a bill that included a star-studded cast of hip hop celebrities, including Kanye West, Common, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and others.

The Fugees were last seen together at BET’s 2005 Music Awards on June 29, 2005.

The Fugees now have a new single out called “Take It Easy!” which first leaked on the internet but is now officially available in the iTunes Music Store among other places. Their album has been slated for release some time in December 2005, but it is still open to change.

Hill has four children by, retired (American) football player Rohan Marley, son of the late reggae music icon, Bob Marley: Zion David Marley, born 1997, Selah Louise Marley, born 1998, and second son Joshua, born 2002. A fourth child, John, was born in 2003.

Ms. Hill’s next album
Ms. Hill is reportedly working on her own LP, and completing it little by little. In January 2005, she had collaborated with producer extraordinaire Kanye West to produce at least two songs. John Legend has also commented about doing a song with her for her upcoming LP. She was supposedly wrapping a project titled “Khulami Phase” over a year ago (as of 10/9/2005) but that seems to have dissipated into nothing. Also, recent performances hint toward her return into a solo music career (she toured in Europe, as well as opened the MOBO Awards, and has been a great deal more active than she has been in recent years).

source: wikipedia

Biography – Wyclef Jean

Nelust Wyclef Jean (born October 17, 1972) is a Grammy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated Haitian-born American rapper, reggae artist, producer, and member of the superstar hip hop trio The Fugees, known as one of the most influential groups of the 1990s for their album The Score.

Early Life
Jean was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. He moved to Brooklyn, New York when he was nine, then to northern New Jersey, where he began playing the guitar and studying jazz in his mostly-black high school. At the age of 14, Wyclef was shot.

In his early life, he worked as a cabdriver. In 1987, Jean, his friend (so close they told people they were cousins growing up) Prakazrel Michel and his classmate, Lauryn Hill, formed a group called the Tranzlator Crew before becoming The Fugees.

Musical Career
The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records and released their debut, Blunted on Reality, but the album sold poorly. Their eclectic follow-up, The Score, however, sold over 17 million copies worldwide and turned the trio into international superstars. Jean soon announced plans to begin a solo career with 1997’s Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars (more typically called simply The Carnival). The album’s guests included Hill and Pras along with Jean’s siblings Melky Sedeck, the I Threes (back-up vocals for Bob Marley), The Neville Brothers and Celia Cruz. The album was a major hit, as were two singles: “We Trying to Stay Alive” (adapted from The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”) and “Gone Til November” (recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra).

The Fugees remained in limbo during this time, with the follow-up to The Score being continually postponed as all three members cultivated solo careers. Jean’s second solo album, released in 2000 was The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. This was recorded with guests including Youssou N’Dour, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, The Rock and Mary J. Blige, the latter with whom he released the song 911 as a single. The critical reception was mixed, with many calling the album scattershot and too far-ranging to be cohesive. He was however nominated for Best hip-hop act at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards.

Jean’s third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002 and sold well, though critics frequently panned it. His fourth album was The Preacher’s Son, an album that Wyclef considered a continuation of his first album, Carnival.

In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haïti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). A freewheeling album that is something of a return to his Caribbean roots, most of the songs on the album are in his native language of Haitian Creole. He also covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song “Fortunate Son” for the soundtrack of The Manchurian Candidate.

Jean also produced and wrote original songs for the original soundtrack to Jonathan Demme’s 2003 Documentary “The Agronomist”, a film about the legendary Jean Dominique, an active man of the people of Wyclef’s homeland, Haïti.

In the same fashion, Jean crafted the music for the documentary Ghosts Of Cité Soleil, in which he found himself on the phone with a young and notorious gang leader in Haïti wishing to leave the life of violence and follow Jean’s footsteps and pursue a career in rap.

In 2005, Jean earned a Golden Globe nomination for his track entitled “Million Voices” featured on the soundtrack to the film Hotel Rwanda.

Jean is slated to produce a track on an upcoming album by Whitney Houston and is also said to be collaborating with her on his upcoming album, “Second Wind”.

Humanitarian Work
Jean has been active in his support of his native country and created his own foundation Yéle Haïti to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to Haïti, which is currently the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Yéle is a non-political organization intended to empower the people of Haïti and the Haïtian diaspora to rebuild their nation.

“The objective of Yéle Haïti is to restore pride and a reason to hope, and for the whole country to regain the deep spirit and strength that is part of our heritage.” – Wyclef Jean

In January 2007, Wyclef Jean became a roving ambassador for Haiti, to help improve its image abroad.

source: wikipedia

6 responses

4 04 2007
Infamous V.

I like your site and all the good facts. I just cant stop listen to Fugees. The songs are beautiful and touching. I even maide on page on my Website about them. Its in Norwegian, but not as much as you did. Just some small facts and pictures.

16 08 2007

Why not post a Pras biography on this same page? You could copy it from Wikipedia the same as the others. Just a thought. Good site.

15 01 2008

Where is Pras’s bio? Alas, he is ALWAYs being forgotten.

16 04 2011
6 05 2011

Hello Pras just got the New President o Haiti elected. He actually made the guy bigger than Wyclef. Proof, he didn’t support Clef and the other guy rode his coat tails. That is big!! Makes me think he made them happen! I mean he did graduate from like Yale or something.

2 08 2015
Telling the Story of Every Man: The Fugees and Jewel | Brandi Leigh

[…] Biography. (2007, January 21). Retrieved July 31, 2015, from […]

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