Lauryn Hill Biography
Lauryn Hill (born May 25, 1975 in South Orange, New Jersey), is a seven-time Grammy award winning musician, and record producer, initially establishing her reputation as the most visible and vocal member of The Fugees, then continuing on to a solo career, releasing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and the controversial MTV Unplugged No. 2.0.
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. In 1999 Ebony magazine named her one of "100+ Most Influential Black Americans". She was named with Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and others among the "10 For Tomorrow," in the EBONY 2000: Special Millennium Issue.
On December 13, 2003, Hill shocked officials at a Christmas benefit concert 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. Hill told the crowd of 7,000:
"I am not here to celebrate with you the birth of Christ. Instead I ask you why you are not in mourning for him in this place? I understand what I say may offend some of you. I want to ask you, what have you got to say about the lives you have broken? What about the families who were expecting God and instead were cheated by the Devil? Who feels sorry for them, the men, women and children damaged psychologically, emotionally and mentally by the sexual perversions and abuse carried out by the people they believed in? Holy God is a witness to the corruption of your leadership, of the exploitation and abuses which are the minimum that can be said for the clergy. There is no acceptable excuse to defend the church." Hill called on the church leaders to "repent" and encouraged the crowd to "not seek blessings from man but from God".
There was silence for several minutes from the audience as many could not speak English. There were cries of "Enough" and "Shame" from those who understood while others whistled and clapped before she picked up her guitar and performed two songs - aptly entitled "Damnable Heresies" and "Social Drugs". After her performance her comments were translated for Cardinal Camillo Ruini, head of the Italian Bishops Conference, who was sitting in the front row - and he walked out in protest. Among those in attendance were Edmund Cardinal Szoka, American-born President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City, and President of the Governorate of Vatican City. The segment was cut from the television broadcast by the Church, and a full transcript of Hill's statement has yet to be released.
The global response Hill received was varied. Monsignor Rino Fisichella, one of the organisers of the traditional concert, said: "It was in poor taste and very bad mannered. It showed a complete lack of respect for her invitation and for the place where she had been invited to perform", while the Catholic League responded by calling Hill "pathologically miserable". But many bloggers believed what she said was true and praised her courageousness.
Hill's only official response to the church, while returning to New York, was: "What I said was the truth. Is telling the truth bad manners? What I asked was the church to repent for what has happened."
As of 2006, Lauryn Hill has won over thirty awards, including seven Grammy Awards and three World best-selling Music Awards. She is one of only four female artists awarded five Grammys in one year, the others being Norah Jones, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé.
Albums with The Fugees
Hill is reportedly working on her own album, with some reports of a great quantity and great quality of music. The Wailers are reported to be on the album. John Legend has reportedly recorded two songs with Hill, including a remix of his song So High, which was nominated for a Grammy, and one for his upcoming Album. Hill was reportedly wrapping up a project entitled "Khulami Phase" over 2 years ago but nothing is official.
Also, a 2005 summer tour in Europe, and several summer 2006 public rehearsals in California point toward a future solo music career.
Ms. Hill has supposedly completed work on her second studio album. However, online-chat states that Columbia, her record label, is refusing to release it. A petition is currently being circulated online by fans, hoping to persuade Columbia to release the album, which they have deemed not "radio friendly" and not the same as the commercially successful "The Miseducation", yet insiders who claim to have listened to the new album said it is "brilliant", "genius" and called it a "Masterpiece" .
On recent news, Hill has reportedly been leasing space in a 1920s Los Angeles warehouse that has been turned into live-work lofts.
Since 1996 Hill has been in a relationship with former University of Miami football linebacker Rohan Marley (son of the late reggae music icon Bob Marley). Though she refers to Marley as her husband, it has not been confirmed publicly that they are legally married. According to a October 2003 Rolling Stone Magazine article by Touré, Marley never divorced his first wife, whom he married while a sophomore at the University of Miami. However, in the summer of 2005, Trace magazine interviewed Lauryn Hill herself, Rohan Marley said none of this was true and that many lies had been written about them
Together they have four children: son, Zion David born 4 August 1997; daughter, Selah Louise born 12 September 1998; son, Joshua born January 2002 and son, John born summer 2003 .
She has written songs about her two eldest children (Zion and Selah). "To Zion" featured on her first solo effort, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1998. "Selah" featured on the "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" soundtrack in 2002
Hill was a childhood friend of actor Zach Braff, who also graduated from Columbia High School the same year as Hill. Braff mentions that Hill went to his bar Mitzvah and was his partner in a traditional game of "coke and pepsi"..