East Orange, New Jersey
Lauryn Hill broke through with multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning group the Fugees, but with her 1998 solo debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the singer, songwriter, rapper, and producer established herself as a creative force on her own. She successfully integrated rap, soul, and reggae into a singular sound. Eclectic, uplifting, and empowering, the album was often cited by younger artists as a touchstone. Following its success, Hill was something of an enigma, her recorded output limited to a live set, scattered compilation appearances, and a handful of collaborations. Disenchantment with the entertainment industry, along with legal issues and erratic performances, did not lessen the impact of her '90s work.