Lauryn Noel Hill is an American recording artist, musician, producer and actress. Early in her career, she established her reputation as a member of the Fugees.
In 1998, she launched her solo career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The recording earned Hill five Grammy Awards, including the coveted Album of the Year and Best New Artist.
Following the success of her debut album, Hill largely dropped out of public view, in part due to her displeasure with fame and the music industry. After a four-year hiatus, she released MTV Unplugged No. 2.0, a live recording of "deeply personal songs" performed mostly solo with an acoustic guitar.
Today, she avoids publicity, and is the mother of five children with Rohan Marley, the fourth son of reggae musician Bob Marley. Recently, she announced plans to start a new studio album, twelve years after The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Hill began her acting career at a young age, appearing on the soap opera As The World Turns as Kira Johnson. In 1993, she co-starred in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit as Rita Louise Watson, in which she performed the songs "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" (a duet with Tanya Blount) and "Joyful, Joyful". It was in this role that she first came to national prominence, with Roger Ebert calling her "the girl with the big joyful voice".
Her other acting work includes the play Club XII with MC Lyte, and the motion pictures King of the Hill, Hav Plenty, and Restaurant. After her rise to musical stardom, she reportedly turned down roles in Charlie's Angels, The Bourne Identity, The Mexican, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
She appeared on the soundtrack to Conspiracy Theory in 1996 with "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", and on Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood in 2002 with the track "Selah".
Lauryn Hill has been cited as an influence by many, especially those in the neo-soul movement of the 2000s. Musicians who have acknowledged Hill's importance include Prince, John Legend , Alicia Keys, D'Angelo , Mary J. Blige, and Jazmine Sullivan. In 2005, Talib Kweli released a song about the singer, titled "Ms. Hill", on Right About Now.
Michelle Obama, wife of U.S. President Barack Obama, told the BBC that she frequently listens to Hill's music on her iPod, while 2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain's daughter Meghan stated that her father listens to Hill: "I borrowed his car once in D.C., and I was like, looking through CDs, and I was like, 'Oh, Lauryn Hill.'" Actors Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington are also reportedly fans of the singer.
D'Angelo, who appeared on "Nothing Even Matters," referred in an interview to at least one church reportedly having used the song in a service.
According to a interview in November 2010 Beyonce has enlisted Hill as a influence for her fourth solo album, set for release in early 2011.
In April 2010, all of the songs that Hill had performed and recorded over the past six years were included in an unofficial release titled "Khulami Phase".The album also features a range of other material found on the Ms. Hill compilation.
On August 28, Hill performed at Rock the Bells Hip Hop festival on Governor's Island in Brooklyn. Friends Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Chris Rock, John Legend and Jay-Z also appeared on stage. Hill performed several songs from The Miseducation, including to Zion, during which she brought her five children on stage.
On November 5, Hill headlined the University of Miami's annual Homecoming concert. Hill performed several songs in front of a very large and responsive crowd. Her hour long set included songs form the Miseducation album such as, Lost Ones, Ex-Factor, To Zion (during which she brought her son Joshua on stage an allowed him to sing into the microphone), a few Bob Marley songs, and several Fugees tracks
Ms. Lauryn Hill was announced to headline the 6th Annual Jazz in the Gardens, in Miami Gardens, Florida in December 2010. She will be performing on the first day, of the 2-day concert, March 19, 2011, along with Jazmine Sullivan, Charlie Wilson, Al Jarreau, and Doug E. Fresh with Slick Rick "The Ruler".