This Day in Black History: Oct. 17, 1969

Wyclef Jean, the celebrated Haitian-American rapper, singer and songwriter, was born.

Posted: 10/17/2013 12:15 AM EDT

Wyclef Jean has established a notable career as a songwriter, singer, rapper and de facto ambassador for his native country of Haiti. He was born on Oct. 17, 1969, and moved to the United States at the age of nine and first achieved fame as a member of the Fugees, a hip hop group from New Jersey.

He began a solo career in the late 1990s and was nominated for Best Hip Hop Act at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards. Jean has produced hits and has been featured in hit singles for Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige among others.

Beyond music, Jean has been a strong advocate on behalf of Haiti and was a prominent player in the relief effort that followed the devastating earthquake in that country. In 2010, he filed papers to run for president of Haiti, but the nation’s elections' officials ruled him ineligible because he had not been a resident for five years.

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(Photo: Getty Images for AFI)

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