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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. The 20-track album will be titled "The Pilgrim". In 2005, Jean earned a Golden Globe for his track entitled "Million Voices" featured on the soundtrack to the film Hotel Rwanda. B. King, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. 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. At the presentation it was announced that his new album would be made with a line-up that will include Eric Clapton, B. In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haiti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). In February 2005 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award, by the Recording Academy that also gives the Grammy Awards.

His fourth album was The Preacher's Son, an album that Wyclef considered a continuation of his first album, Carnival. After several years of inactivity in the studio, Lewis plans to put out a new album in 2005. Jean's third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002 and sold well, though critics frequently panned it. He has never stopped touring and can still deliver great unique concerts that are always unpredictable exciting and personal. The critical reception was mixed, with many calling the album scattershot and too far-ranging to be cohesive. In 1986 Jerry Lee Lewis was part of the first group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Blige. Nicknamed The Killer for his forceful voice and piano production on stage, he was described by fellow artist Roy Orbison as the best raw performer in the history of rock music.

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. Despite the personal problems, his musical talent is unquestioned. 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. Jerry Lee's sister, Linda Gail Lewis, is also a piano player, and has recorded with Van Morrison. 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. Swaggart is also a piano player, as is another cousin, country music star Mickey Gilley. 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). The very public downfall of his cousin, television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, resulted in more adverse publicity to an already deeply troubled family.

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 film was based on the book by Lewis' ex-wife Myra and starred Dennis Quaid as Lewis, with Winona Ryder, and Alec Baldwin. 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). In 1989, a major motion picture based on his early life in rock & roll titled Great Balls of Fire brought him back into the public eye. Their eclectic follow-up, The Score, however, sold over 17 million copies worldwide and turned the trio into international superstars. When questioned about why he was at the front gate, Lewis displayed a gun and told the guard he had come to kill Presley. The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records and released their debut, Blunted on Reality, but the album was panned and sold poorly. Lewis had been invited to visit by Presley but a security guard was unaware of this.

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. A few weeks later on November 23, Lewis was again involved in a gun related arrest at Elvis Presley's Graceland residence. 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. Owens miraculously survived. 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 gun was loaded and Lewis shot Owens in the chest. Clef Records Website (http://www.clefrecords.com). Pointing it at his bass player, Butch Owens, he pulled the trigger.

J Records Website (http://www.jrecords.com). While celebrating his 41st birthday in 1976, Lewis began playing with a .357 Magnum, which he later stated he thought was unloaded. Sak Pase Records Website (http://www.sakpaserecords.net). Addicted to drugs too, Jerry Lee Lewis checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic. Official Website (http://www.wyclef.com). Little more than a year later, his fifth wife was found dead at his home from a methadone overdose. 2004 Sak Pasé Presents: Creole 101 (Welcome to Haiti). Following this, his fourth wife drowned in a swimming pool under suspicious circumstances.

2003 The Preacher's Son. Lewis' own erratic behaviour during the latter part of the 1970s led to his being hospitalized and near death from a bleeding ulcer. 2002 Masquerade. Earlier in the sixties his first son Steve Allen Lewis drowned in a swimming pool accident. 2000 The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. Plagued by alcohol and drug problems after Myra divorced him in 1970, tragedy struck when his 19-year-old son, Jerry Lee Lewis Jr., was killed in a road accident in 1973. 1997 Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars. Although he toured and played many sold-out concerts, he never again achieved the heights of success that he had prior to the scandal of 1958 despite a major international hit with "Chantilly Lace" in 1973.

He achieved many No.1 and Top 10 country hits. After more than a decade playing rock and roll, in 1968 Lewis began focussing on country and western music with reasonable success. His popularity recovered somewhat in Europe, especially in the UK and Germany, in the mid 1960s, but success eluded him in the USA. His only hit during this period was a cover of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" in 1962.

The scandal followed Lewis home to America and, as a result, he almost vanished from the music scene. The situation caused a public uproar and the tour was cancelled after only three concerts. Lewis’ personal life was always turbulent but kept from the public until a tour of Britain in 1958 when the press learned the 23-year-old star was with his third wife, Myra Gale Brown, who was also his 13-year-old second cousin. His dynamic performing style can be viewed in films, including High School Confidential in which he sang the title song from the back of a flatbed truck and the big-budget film The Girl Can't Help It.

He kicked the piano bench out of the way to play standing, raked his hands up and down the keyboard for dramatic accent, and even sat down on it. Lewis's performances were dynamic. His early billing was as Jerry Lee Lewis and his Pumping Piano. Watching and listening to Jerry Lee Lewis play, Elvis said if he could play the piano like that, he'd quit singing.

"Great Balls Of Fire" soon followed and would become his biggest hit. In 1957, his piano and the pure rock sound of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" propelled him to international fame. Lewis' first recording at Sun studios was his own distinct version of the country ballad "Crazy Arms". Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash also began their recording careers at Sun Studios around this same time.

In 1956, Lewis joined Sam Phillips at his Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Leaving religious music behind, but bringing its sound and his piano playing talents to the new music developing at the time, in 1954 he cut his first record. He began playing the piano at a very early age in his church, and in 1950 he attended Southwestern Bible Institute in Texas but was expelled for misconduct, including playing rock and roll versions of hymns in church. He was, like Elvis Presley, brought up singing the Christian gospel music of integrated southern Pentecostal churches.

His parents, though poor, took out a loan to buy him a piano, and within a year he had developed his mature style of playing. Born in Ferriday, Louisiana, he early showed a natural talent at the piano. Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American rock and roll pioneer piano player and singer. "Breathless".

"Great Balls of Fire". "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On". "Another Place, Another Time". "Crazy Arms".

"High School Confidential". "It'll Be Me". "What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me)". "Who's Gonna Play this Old Piano?".

"End of the Road". "Me and Bobby McGee".

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