Reclusive singer/rapper Lauryn Hill is "excited" about returning to the music scene this summer with a series of concerts (10), insisting she only put her career on hold for the sake of her children.
The former Fugees star has remained out of the spotlight since 2008 following a series of poorly received performances and cancelled shows, only recently returning to the stage for a rare surprise appearance at New Zealand's Ragamuffin festival in January (10).
Hill has now announced she will be joining the line-up of the Rock The Bells Festival Series - a hip-hop tour across America - and she's explained the reason for her prolonged absence.
The singer is adamant media criticism didn't force her out of the public eye, admitting she grew disillusioned with the music industry and took a step back to look after her five kids with longtime partner Rohan Marley.
She tells America's National Public Radio (NPR), "There were a number of different reasons (why I left music). The support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it. The machine can overlook the need to take care of the people who produce the sounds that have a lot to do with the health and well-being of society... And it's important that people be given the time that they need to go through, to grow...
"I don't know if you know this, but I have five children. The youngest is two now, so she's old enough that I can leave her for a period of time and know she's going to be okay.
"It's time (to start performing again). I'm starting to get excited again."
Hill also hinted she may return to the recording studio to work on a new album - her first since 1998's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
She adds, "People have never really heard me sing. I think if I do record, next time, perhaps, there will be an expanded context. People can hear - a bit more."