Date of Birth : 26 May 1975, South Orange, New Jersey, USA
Birth Name : Lauryn Noelle Hill
Nickname : L-Boogie
Height : 5' 3½" (1.61 m)
Lauryn Hill, a native of South Orange, New Jersey, first came to attention with the multi-talented The Fugees. Their first album, "Blunted On Reality", went virtually unnoticed by the public; their real breakthrough came with the sophomore album, "The Score", which featured "Killing Me Softly". That album stills remains the worldwide top-selling rap album of all time (17 million units shipped). She earned two Grammys (Best Rap Album and Best R&B Performance by a duo or group) in 1996 and gave birth to Zion (alleged father is Bob Marley's son) before releasing her self-written and self-produced solo album, "The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill", which topped Billboard charts the moment it came out.
Singer, songwriter, actress. Born in South Orange, New Jersey on May 25, 1975. In 1998, Lauryn Hill released her solo debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and became the first woman or hip-hop artist to win five Grammy Awards when she received Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Performance, Best R&B Song ("Doo Wop (That Thing)") and Best R&B Album honors.
A natural performer, Hill sang at Harlem's Apollo Theater at age thirteen. Soon after, she met Prakazrel "Pras" Michel and his cousin, Wyclef Jean, and the three formed a band (which was at first called Tranzlator Crew, but later became the Fugees) and began performing in area clubs. While just a high school sophomore, Hill landed a recurring role on the television soap opera As the World Turns and soon after starred in Whoopi Goldberg's Sister Act II: Back in the Habit. In 1993, instead of heading for Hollywood, Hill enrolled at Columbia University where she studied for a year before going on leave to pursue her career. That same year, the Fugees released their first album, Blunted on Reality, which met mixed reviews. In 1996, the group released a successful second album, The Score, which sold 17 million copes, making the Fugees the largest-selling rap group of all time and winning them two Grammy Awards (Best Rap Album and Best R&B Performance by a duo or group).
Hill's first solo effort, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), established her as a major talent in her own right. The album sold over 12 million copies and earned Hill five Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, a Billboard Award, a Soul Train Award and an MTV Music Award.
After an extended hiatus, Hill returned in 2002 with MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. The album was generated from Hill's two-hour acoustic performance on MTV's popular series MTV Unplugged. In October, 2005, Hill performed two songs at the Take Back TV concert launching Al Gore's CurrentTV.
Hill is also a dedicated activist. She is the founder of the Refugee Camp Youth Project, which raises money to send inner-city children in her native New Jersey to summer camp. She has five children with long-term boyfriend Rohan Marley, Zion, who was born in August 1997, Selah Louise, who was born in November 1998, Joshua, John, and a daughter born in 2008. Marley is the son of legendary singer Bob Marley.
Call Lauryn Hill the mother of hip-hop invention; with her 1998 solo debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the Fugees' most vocal member not only established herself as creative force on her own, but also broke new ground by successfully integrating rap, soul, reggae, and R&B into her own sound.
Raised in South Orange, NJ, Hill spent her youth listening her parents' multi-genre, multi-generational record collection. She began singing at an early age, and was soon snagging minor roles on television (As the World Turns) and in film (Sister Act II: Back in the Habit). Her on-again, off-again stint in the Fugees began at the age of 13, but was often interrupted by both the acting gigs and her enrollment at Columbia University. After developing a following in the tri-state area, the group's first release -- the much-hyped but uneven Blunted on Reality -- bombed, almost causing a breakup. But with the multi-platinum The Score, the Fugees (and especially the camera-friendly Hill) achieved international success, though some pundits took shots at their penchant for cover songs.
That criticism made Miseducation even more of a surprise. Hill wrote, arranged, or produced just about every track on the album, which is steeped in her old-school background, both musically (the Motown-esque singalong of "Doo Wop (That Thing)") and lyrically (the nostalgic "Every Ghetto, Every City"). As Miseducation began a long reign on the charts through most of the fall and winter of 1998 -- initially thanks to heavy buzz and overwhelming radio support for "Doo Wop (That Thing)" -- Hill became a national media icon, as magazines ranging from Time to Esquire to Teen People vied to put her on the cover. By the end of the year, as the album topped virtually every major music critic's best-of list, she was being credited for helping fully assimilate hip-hop into mainstream music. (Such an analysis, however, is lightweight at best: Hip-hop had been a huge force on the sales and radio fronts for most of the decade, and rappers Jay-Z, DMX, and Outkast had dropped similarly lauded LPs prior to or just after Miseducation's release, adding to the genre's dominant sales for the year). The momentum finally culminated at the February 1999 Grammy awards, during which Hill took home five trophies from her 11 nominations, including Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album; the most ever for a woman. Shortly after, she launched a highly praised national tour with Atlanta rappers Outkast.
Hill also faced a lawsuit from two musicians who claim they were denied full credit for their work on the album. In an interesting twist, Hill's album proved to be such a commercial and critical success that it shed doubt on the Fugees' future. Their in-fighting became common knowledge, and matters were complicated when many fans interpreted Miseducation's various anti-stardom rants as a public dissing of co-Fugee Wyclef Jean.She did continue shaping her solo career. The double-disc MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 appeared in spring 2002, showcasing a deeply personal performance from Hill. ~ Brian Raftery, All Music Guide.