Wyclef Jean


The son of a Nazarene preacher, Wyclef Jean was born in Haiti and raised in Brooklyn and New Jersey. In the early ’90s, he banded with fellow Haitian immigrant Prakazrel (“Pras”) Michel and Lauryn Hill, initially calling themselves the Tranzlator Crew and then changing their name to The Fugees—short for “refugees.” Their 1994 debut, Blunted on Reality, introduced them as hip hop thinkers in the tradition of The Native Tongues, but it was their second album, The Score that earned the trio stratospheric success with hit singles like “Killing Me Softly,” “Fu-Gee-La” and “Ready Or Not.” The album sold 17 million copies worldwide and won two 1997 Grammy Awards. Jean went on to release a successful solo debut The Carnival has since collaborated with a wide range of artists—from Kenny Rogers to Shakira. Although his attempt to run for President of Haiti was unsuccessful, Jean remains a respected humanitarian and activist with his Yele Foundation, which raised millions to provide aid following Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake.