Jean, Wyclef


Musician and singer – Born in 1970 in Croix-des-Bouquets, but grew up in Port-au-Prince until the age of nine when his family moved to Brooklyn, New York. Later they moved to Newark, New Jersey, where his father is now pastor of the Good Shepherd Church of the Nazarene. Jean formed a hip-hop trio, the Fugees, with his cousin, “Pras” Michel, and Lauryn Hill. The first Fugees album, Blunted on Reality, 1994, was followed by the monumentally successful, The Score, 1996, which has sold more than 15 million copies world-wide. With its blend of singing, rapping, and lush instrumentation, The Score has been widely hailed as expanding the boundaries of hip-hop. It included the global chart-topping single, a remake of Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly.

In 1997, he released a solo album, Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival, containing four songs in Kreyol, and with the Fugees he returned to his homeland to play a benefit for repatriated Haitian refugees in front of 80,000 fans in Port-au-Prince. In 2000, Jean released a second solo album, The Ecleftic, Two Sides of a Book.

In late 2001, Jean was reportedly working on the production of a feature film, Passport, which is semi-autobiographical and based on his experience as an immigrant from Haiti. The film chronicles the transition and assimilation of a young Caribbean immigrant into US society.

More recently he has worked as a writer, and producer helping boost the careers of Whitney Houston and Carlos Santana, and producing CDs by Sinead O’Connor and Mary J. Blige. His latest collaboration has been with Tom Jones, the veteran Welsh singer and hip-thruster.

In December 2004, he launched Yele Haiti – a non-political sustainable development movement. With a focus on education, health, entrepreneurship and environment, Yele Haiti unites music and sustainable development to give the youth and Diaspora of Haiti the tools and resources necessary to rebuild and chart a new course for the future. Yele Haiti is a United States-based nonprofit charitable organization with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. Yele Haiti is headquartered in New York City with offices in Port-au-Prince and Miami.

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