Lauryn Noelle Hill (born May 26, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, producer and actress. Hill was born and raised in South Orange, New Jersey and began singing with her music-oriented family. Hill's vocal talent took her into acting and her role as Rita Watson in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1992) brought her to national prominence. At high school, Hill was approached by Pras Michel to start a band with his cousin Wyclef Jean. They formed The Fugees and released two albums; Blunted on Reality (1994) and the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum The Score (1996). Hill's tumultuous romantic relationship with Jean led to the split of the band in 1997 to focus on solo projects.
Hill's pregnancy with Zion inspired her to focus on the theme of love. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) remains Hill's only studio album; it received critical acclaim, some suggesting it was the greatest neo-soul album of all time. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 19 million copies worldwide, spawning the singles "Doo Wop (That Thing)", "Ex-Factor", and "Everything Is Everything". At the 41st Grammy Awards, the album earned her five Grammy Awards, including the Album of the Year. Soon after, Hill dropped out of the public-eye, mainly because of her dissatisfaction with the music industry. Her last recording, the live album MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 (2001) sharply divided critics, but reached number two on the Billboard 200. Hill's subsequent activity has been sporadic; she has occasionally released songs and performed at music festivals. In 2013, Hill was convicted for tax evasion and signed a deal with Sony Music that will see the release of her second studio album.