Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED TO. . .

                                            LAURYN HILL?


Last seen: MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 (2002)

She seemed destined for a long and successful career in music but after releasing her live album eight years ago, she pretty much disappeared from the public eye. What happened to Lauryn Hill?

She started her career as an actress, appearing on the soap opera, "As The World Turns" and in films like, "Sister Act 2" and Steven Soderbergh's "King of the Hill" before focusing on music.

In high school, she met Prakazrel "Pras" Michel and his cousin, Wyclef Jean and together they formed a musical group called The Fugees which was short for "The Refugee Camp".  They released two albums but it was their second one, "The Score" (1996) that brought the band world wide acclaim. The Fugees won two Grammy Awards for the album, which included Best R&B Vocal By A Duo Or Group for their hit remake of the Roberta Flack classic, "Killing Me Softly With His Song".

In 1998, Lauryn Hill completed her first solo record, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" which was partly prompted by her frustrations within the Fugees. She took what she had done with her band and pushed it forward, creating a near perfect album that combined rap, reggae and hip hop beats with touches of classic soul throughout.

The album was a monster hit topping the Billboard album and R&B album charts and would go on to sell eighteen million copies. She received ten Grammy Award nominations and would go to win five of them, including Best New Artist and Album Of The Year. This was the most nominations and wins by a female artist ever in one year.

She became a media sensation and appeared on a wide range of magazine covers including Time. She soon became disenchanted with her new found fame and the music industry and retreated. She stayed away from the public for a few years, trying to refocus her life on her family and other creative outlets.

In 2001, she resurfaced and performed new material for a small audience for MTV. The concert was essentially a guitar, her voice and songs that focused on her thoughts on religion, society and love. An album of that concert was released the following year and although it was not critically praised, it did manage to sell over a million copies.

The Fugees attempted to come back together in 2004, which included an appearance at the 2005 BET Award show, a European tour, a Hollywood reunion concert in 2006 and a few leaked songs before old tensions flared back up, causing the group to disband, apparently for good in 2007.

There have been rumours that Lauryn Hill has been working on her follow-up album since 2004 and has made sporadic concert appearances over the years but not much has really come together.

Here are a few of my favorite songs off of her first album:

Lost Ones - Lauryn Hill

Everything Is Everything - Lauryn Hill

Nothing Even Matters - Lauryn Hill & D'Angelo


This is the beautiful music video for her song, "Ex-Factor":



This song, "Repercussions" has popped up on the internet but no one seems to know whether it is actually a new song or some older material but it is a good tune. It makes me hopeful that she will release a new CD sometime real soon.

Repercussions - Lauryn Hill

ICONA POP ARE "GIRLS GIRLS"

Those Swedish musical party-girls, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, otherwise known as  Icona Pop are back with a new club-banging anthem. ...