Today, May 26, is the birthday of the vivacious artist and former female MC of hip-hop trio The Fugees, Lauryn Hill. The New Jersey-bred legend is now 43.

The New Jersey native began her career as a member of The Fugees in the early 90’s, releasing two multi-platinum albums with the group, Blunted to Reality (1994) and The Score (1996) before embarking on a solo career. In 1998, Hill dropped her debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,  which was the first album ever to receive a XXL rating. The album’s lead single, “Doo Wop (That Thing)," dominated the Billboard charts, and the accompanying music video featured a split-screen presentation that showcased Hill paying homage to the roots of R&B and doo wop while simultaneously performing the piece in present day time.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill received outstanding recognition and during the 1999 Grammy Awards, Hill made history by becoming the first ever female artist to be nominated in a whopping 10 different categories. Out of the 10 nominations, the stellar vocalist shattered another record by taking home five, by winning: Best R&B Album, Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best New Artist, and the highly coveted Album of the Year.

In the early 2000s, following the success of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, hip-hop’s leading lady removed herself from the culture, by going into a self-imposed exile. She stopped watching TV, listening to music and sought guidance from a spiritual advisor. Her acoustic performance on 2001's MTV Unplugged only further divided music critics and confused her fans.

After years of seclusion and some tax issues, Lauryn seems to be creeping her way back into the public eye. She has recorded and toured sporadically the past few years and has been doing international tour dates. On April 18, 2018, she stepped out into the music world to pay tribute to the late, great Nina Simone at the famed singer's posthumous Hall of Fame induction. The day before that, she shared dates for her The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour.

Happy Birthday, Ms. Lauryn Hill!

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