About Wyclef Jean
As a solo artist and member of Fugees, Haiti-born rapper, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Wyclef Jean has helped to give hip-hop more of a global sound and conscience.
• In the ’80s, Wyclef teamed with his cousin Pras Michel and singer-rapper Lauryn Hill to form the hip-hop group The Tranzlator Crew at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. By their 1994 debut album, Blunted On Reality, they’d changed their name to Fugees.
• Fugees achieved blockbuster success with their 1996 sophomore album, The Score. Featuring “Killing Me Softly,” their ubiquitous cover of a song made famous by Roberta Flack in 1973, the album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and won a Grammy for Best Rap Album.
• Following The Score, all three Fugees members pursued solo careers. Wyclef launched his with 1997’s Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival, an eclectic collection featuring forays into soul, reggae, and other Caribbean sounds. The album went double platinum.
• Wyclef cowrote and coproduced “Maria Maria” for Carlos Santana’s star-studded 1999 album Supernatural. The LP won the Grammy for Album of the Year, earning Clef his third gramophone statuette.
• Fugees surprised fans by reuniting for a 2004 performance captured in the film Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. The group split up again in 2006 before they could release a third album.
• In 2006, Wyclef cowrote, coproduced, and guested on Colombian singer Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie,” which shimmeyed its way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped charts around the world.
• Wyclef announced plans to run for president of Haiti, his home country, after an earthquake devastated that Caribbean nation in 2010. Haiti’s electoral commission ultimately deemed him ineligible to run.
BORNOctober 17, 1969