Wyclef Jean

Album cover of 2000's The Ecleftic

Wyclef Jean (born October 17, 1972) is a Haitian-born rapper, producer and former member of the superstar hip hop trio The Fugees, known now for a series of high-profile hit singles.

Born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, Jean moved to Brooklyn when he was nine, then to New Jersey, where he began playing the guitar and studying jazz in high school. In 1987, Jean, his cousin Prakazrel Michel (Pras) and his classmate, Lauryn Hill, formed a group called the Tranzlator Crew before becoming The Fugees. Wyclef worked as a cabdriver.

The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records and released their debut, Blunted on Reality, but the album was panned and sold poorly. Their eclectic follow-up, The Score, however, sold over 17 million copies worldwide and turned the trio into international superstars. Jean soon announced plans to begin a solo career with 1997's Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars (more typically called simply The Carnival). The album's guests included Hill and Pras along with Jean's siblings, the I Threes (back-up vocals for Bob Marley), Neville Brothers and Celia Cruz. The album was a major hit, as were two singles: "We Trying to Stay Alive" (adapted from The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive") and "Gone Til November" (recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra).

Jean went on to work with artists including Santana, Tevin Campbell, Cypress Hill, Bounty Killer, Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Sublime, Simply Red, Mya, Sinéad O'Connor, Kimberly Scott, Mick Jagger, Canibus, The Black Eyed Peas and Eric Benét. The Fugees remained in limbo during this time, with the follow-up to The Score being continually postponed as all three members cultivated solo careers. Jean's second solo album was The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, recorded with guests Youssou N'Dour, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, The Rock and Mary J. Blige. The critical reception was mixed, with many calling the album scattershot and too far-ranging to be cohesive.

Jean's third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002 and sold well, though critics frequently panned it.

His fourth album was The Preacher's Son, an album that Wyclef considered a continuation of his first album, Carnival.

In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haiti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). A freewheeling album that is something of a return to his Caribbean roots, most of the songs on the album are in his native language of Haitian Creole or Kreyòl.

In 2005, Jean earned a Golden Globe for his track entitled "Million Voices" featured on the soundtrack to the film Hotel Rwanda.


Discography

  • 1997 Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars
  • 2000 The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book
  • 2002 Masquerade
  • 2003 The Preacher's Son
  • 2004 Sak Pasé Presents: Creole 101 (Welcome to Haiti)

Links

  • Official Website (http://www.wyclef.com)
  • Sak Pase Records Website (http://www.sakpaserecords.net)
  • J Records Website (http://www.jrecords.com)
  • Clef Records Website (http://www.clefrecords.com)

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. In 1992, Patti received her first Grammy award for her album "Burnin." She also is the author of three books, one including her autobiography and two cookbooks. 1998's "Live: One Night Only" earned Patti her second Grammy award. In 2005, Jean earned a Golden Globe for his track entitled "Million Voices" featured on the soundtrack to the film Hotel Rwanda. In 1986, her album "The Winner In You" went platinum. A freewheeling album that is something of a return to his Caribbean roots, most of the songs on the album are in his native language of Haitian Creole or Kreyòl. She made her way to the top of the charts with the hits "New Attitude" which was featured on the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop, the love ballad "If Only You Knew" and a duet with Michael McDonald "On My Own". In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haiti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). During the 1980s and 1990s, Patti LaBelle proved herself to be a legend in the making.

His fourth album was The Preacher's Son, an album that Wyclef considered a continuation of his first album, Carnival. When the group split up in 1976, Hendryx and LaBelle managed successful solo careers, while Sarah Dash released several failed albums and ending up working as a backup singer for bands like the Rolling Stones. Jean's third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002 and sold well, though critics frequently panned it. LaBelle never regained their former momentum after Nightbirds and "Lady Marmalade", in spite of several hits and some critically acclaimed albums like Phoenix (1975) and Chameleon (1976). The critical reception was mixed, with many calling the album scattershot and too far-ranging to be cohesive. The success of the single also pushed the album to the top of the charts. Blige. "Lady Marmalade", a sexy, funky disco song (with an come-hither French chorus, "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?") about a New Orleans prostitute became a massive hit in 1975 and one of the first mainstream disco hits (Jones and Kantonen, 1999).

Jean's second solo album was The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, recorded with guests Youssou N'Dour, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, The Rock and Mary J. After Pressure Cooker, LaBelle signed with Epic Records and recorded an album, Nightbirds, with Allen Toussaint, a famous record producer. The Fugees remained in limbo during this time, with the follow-up to The Score being continually postponed as all three members cultivated solo careers. After the albums flopped, Hendryx wrote most of their third album, Pressure Cooking (1973), released on RCA Records. Jean went on to work with artists including Santana, Tevin Campbell, Cypress Hill, Bounty Killer, Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Sublime, Simply Red, Mya, Sinéad O'Connor, Kimberly Scott, Mick Jagger, Canibus, The Black Eyed Peas and Eric Benét. LaBelle released LaBelle in 1971 on Warner Brothers Records; it included covers of the Rolling Stones, Kenny Rogers, Carole King and Laura Nyro, while the following album, Moonshadow (1972) included covers of Cat Stevens and the Who, as well as an increasing amount of Hendryx material. The album was a major hit, as were two singles: "We Trying to Stay Alive" (adapted from The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive") and "Gone Til November" (recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra). LaBelle opened for the Who and assisted with Laura Nyro's Gonna Take a Miracle in 1971.

The album's guests included Hill and Pras along with Jean's siblings, the I Threes (back-up vocals for Bob Marley), Neville Brothers and Celia Cruz. She changed the name to LaBelle and pushed the group to a more contemporary sound, incorporated glam influences, particularly in the spectacular spacey stage costumes that included large amounts of glitter, feathers and other acoutrements. Jean soon announced plans to begin a solo career with 1997's Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars (more typically called simply The Carnival). Three years later, the group lost their contract and hired Vicki Wickham, a British TV producer, to remake their image. Their eclectic follow-up, The Score, however, sold over 17 million copies worldwide and turned the trio into international superstars. In 1967, the group became a trio after Cindy Birdsong left to join the Supremes, replacing Florence Ballard. The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records and released their debut, Blunted on Reality, but the album was panned and sold poorly. The BlueBelles signed with Atlantic Records in 1965, releasing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Groovy Kind of Love" (later a hit for the Mindbenders and Phil Collins) with only mild success.

In 1987, Jean, his cousin Prakazrel Michel (Pras) and his classmate, Lauryn Hill, formed a group called the Tranzlator Crew before becoming The Fugees. Wyclef worked as a cabdriver. The song was a hit, as was their 1963 follow-up, "Down the Aisle", and "You'll Never Walk Alone" (1964; Rodgers & Hammerstein) and "Danny Boy" (a traditional Irish folk song). Born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, Jean moved to Brooklyn when he was nine, then to New Jersey, where he began playing the guitar and studying jazz in high school. Some controversy exists over if the group actually performed on the track; some believe that the song was performed entirely or partially by the Starlets. Wyclef Jean (born October 17, 1972) is a Haitian-born rapper, producer and former member of the superstar hip hop trio The Fugees, known now for a series of high-profile hit singles. The first single was "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman" (released as the Blue-Belles). Clef Records Website (http://www.clefrecords.com). Patricia Holt then changed her name to Patricia LaBelle to match the group's official name, the BlueBelles.

J Records Website (http://www.jrecords.com). In 1962, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash joined after leaving a group called the Del Capris. Sak Pase Records Website (http://www.sakpaserecords.net). Patricia Louise Holt (soon to be known as Patti LaBelle) and Cindy Birdsong first formed a group called the Ordettes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Official Website (http://www.wyclef.com). Nona Hendryx, Sarah Dash and Cindy Birdsong rounded out the group, with Hendryx especially notable as a prolific songwriter. 2004 Sak Pasé Presents: Creole 101 (Welcome to Haiti). The group was led by Patti LaBelle (born May 24, 1944), who later had a successful solo career.

2003 The Preacher's Son. LaBelle was an American disco group, melding dance music with funk and glam rock, resulting in such memorable songs as "Lady Marmalade". 2002 Masquerade. ISBN 1556524110. 2000 The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. Chicago, Illinois: A Cappella Books. 1997 Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars. Jones, Alan and Kantonen, Jussi (1999) Saturday Night Forever: The Story of Disco.

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