Wyclef Jean (born Nelust Wyclef Jean, 17.10.1972)
Wyclef Jean is best known as a member of the hip-hop band The Fugees and is also an actor and record producer.
Wyclef Jean: Biography
Wyclef Jean was born in Haiti, in Croix-des-Bouquets. His foster father was a pastor and the family moved to Brooklyn New York when Wyclef was nine. They later moved to New Jersey.
Wyclef Jean: Musical Career
The Fugees' debut album Blunted on Reality was released on Ruffhouse Records, to mild critical success and moderate sales. However, it was the follow-up album The Score which really propelled the band to stardom, eventually selling over 17 million copies across the globe.
Wyclef started his own solo career with the release of Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars, in 1997. Commonly known as The Carnival, the album featured a number of guest stars such as Lauryn Hill and Pras as well as Wyclef's siblings, Melky Sedeck and Farel Sedeck Guerschom Jean and the I Threes, Bob Marley's backing vocalists. Two singles from the album, 'We Trying to Stay Alive' (an adaptation of 'Stayin' Alive' by the Bee Gees) and 'Gone Till November' were both hits.
Wyclef's second solo album, The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book was released in 2000. This time, his guest stars included Mary J. Blige, Youssou N'Dour, Kenny Rogers and The Rock. His collaboration with Mary J. Blige, '911', was released as a single and Wyclef won the Best Hip-Hop Act award at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Jean released three more albums between 2002 and 2004: Masquerade, The Preacher's Son and Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haiti (Creole 101). The latter was largely sung in his native Haitian Creole language.
In 2004, Wyclef Jean contributed two songs to movie soundtracks. Firstly, he recorded a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Fortunate Son' for The Manchurian Candidate. Secondly, he penned 'Million Voices' for the film Hotel Rwanda.
The Fugees experienced a brief reunion and series of gigs between 2004 and 2006, fuelled by a performance on Dave Chapelle's Block Party. However, it has been reported that the eventual abandonment of any ideas to record a new album were down to Lauryn Hill's attitude toward the group working as a team together again.
Wyclef Jean: Personal Life
Wyclef Jean married Marie Claudinette Pierre-Jean in 1994. Marie is a fashion designer. They have one adopted daughter together, named Angelina Claudinelle. They adopted her when she was three months old.
Wyclef Jean: Humanitarian Endeavours
Wyclef Jean established the Yéle Haiti foundation in 2005. The fund was set up to assist the education of children in Gonaives, after the destruction caused by Hurricane Jeane. In its first year, the foundation provided scholarships to 3,600 children and this figure was almost doubled in its second year. Wyclef's friends Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were in attendance for the first anniversary of the launch.