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Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jeanelle Jean (/'wa?kl?f '???n/; Haitian Creole pronunciation: [wajkl?f ?ã\]; born October 17, 1969) is a three-time Grammy Award-winning Haitian-American rapper, singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and politician. At age nine, Jean moved to the USA with his family and has spent much of his life in the country. He first received fame as a member of the acclaimed New Jersey hip hop group the Fugees.On August 5, 2010, Jean filed for candidacy in the 2010 Haitian presidential election, although the Electoral Commission subsequently ruled him ineligible to stand as he had not met the requirement to have been resident in Haiti for five years.Jean's efforts at earthquake relief, highly publicized in 2010 throughout Haiti and the United States, were channeled through his charitable organization, Yéle Haiti. The charity, which performed a variety of charitable works in Haiti between 2005 and 2010, effectively closed in 2012 after much controversy.Fugees eraAfter the group formed in the 1980s under the name Tranzlator Crew, they signed to Ruffhouse Records and Columbia Records in 1993; they then changed their name to Fugees – an abbreviation of "refugees", also a reference to Haitian immigrants. The group's debut album, Blunted on Reality, was released in 1992. The album achieved limited commercial success, only peaking at number 62 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart: however, it peaked at number 122 on the UK Albums Chart in 1997, and was certified gold by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP). Blunted on Reality spawned three singles: "Boof Baf", "Nappy Heads" and "Vocab". "Nappy Heads" became their first single to appear on the US Billboard Hot 100, charting at number 49.In 1996, the Fugees released their second album, titled The Score. The album achieved significant commercial success in the United States, topping the US Billboard 200, and was later certified six-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It also performed well in several overseas territories, topping the Austrian, Canadian, French, German and Swiss albums charts, whilst also peaking at number two in Sweden and the United Kingdom.Four commercially successful singles were released from The Score; "Fu-Gee-La", the first single from the album, peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold by the RIAA and by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI). The other three singles – "Killing Me Softly", "Ready or Not" and "No Woman, No Cry" – did not appear on the Billboard Hot 100 as they were not released for commercial sale, making them ineligible to appear on the chart, although they all received sufficient airplay to appear on the Hot 100 Airplay and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts. "Killing Me Softly", a cover of the Roberta Flack song "Killing Me Softly with His Song", performed strongly in other territories, topping the singles charts in Australia, Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom, among several others. "Ready or Not" also peaked at number one in the United Kingdom and number three in Sweden, and "No Woman, No Cry" – a cover of the Bob Marley & The Wailers song of the same name – topped the singles chart in New Zealand. Fugees collaborated with singer Bounty Killer on the single "Hip-Hopera" and recorded the single "Rumble in the Jungle" for the soundtrack to the film When We Were Kings in 1997: although they have not released any studio albums since The Score, a compilation album, Greatest Hits, was released in 2003, and spawned the single "Take It Easy".Solo careerJean J announced plans to begin a solo career with 1997's Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars (generally called The Carnival). The album's guests included Lauryn Hill and Pras along with Jean's siblings' group Melky Sedeck; the I Threes (back-up vocals for Bob Marley); The Neville Brothers and Celia Cruz. The album was a hit, as were two singles: "We Trying to Stay Alive" (adapted from The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive") and "Gone Till November" (recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra). Released in 2000, Jean's second solo album The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book was recorded with guests including Youssou N'Dour; Earth, Wind & Fire; Kenny Rogers; The Rock; and Mary J. Blige. With Blige he released "911" as a single. He was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Act at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards.Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jean participated in the benefit concert America: A Tribute to Heroes contributing a cover of the Bob Marley song "Redemption Song". Jean has produced hits and been featured in hit singles for Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige to name a few.Jean's third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002. His fourth album, The Preacher's Son, was released in November 2003 as the follow-up to his first solo album, The Carnival. In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haïti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). Most of its songs are in his native language of Haitian Creole like "Fanm Kreyol" with the French Caribbean Admiral T. He also figured on the album Mozaik Kreyol of this one in the song "Secret Lover". Then he covered Creedence Clearwater Revival's song "Fortunate Son" for the soundtrack of the 2004 film remake of The Manchurian Candidate and wrote the song "Million Voices" for the film Hotel Rwanda.Jean also produced and wrote songs for the soundtrack to Jonathan Demme's 2003 documentary The Agronomist, about the Haitian activist and radio personality Jean Dominique. With Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis, Jean also composed the score of the documentary Ghosts of Cité Soleil, He also helped produce the film and he appears briefly onscreen speaking by telephone in 2004 to a "chimere" gang-leader and aspiring rapper, Winston "2Pac" Jean.During a period between 2004 and 2006 and fueled by a reunion performance in Dave Chappelle's "Block Party", it appeared that the Fugees were on track to record a new album, however Fugees member Pras claimed to Billboard, "To put it nicely, it's dead." He said the root of this animosity was the third member of the group, Lauryn Hill, and was quoted in Billboard as saying; "Me and Clef, we on the same page, but Lauryn Hill is in her zone, and I'm fed up with that s**t. Here she is, blessed with a gift, with the opportunity to rock and give and she's running on some bulls**t? I'm a fan of Lauryn's but I can't respect that."In 2006, Jean was featured in Shakira's smash hit Hips Don't Lie. The song went on to become the highest selling single of the 21st century, in addition to reaching number one in over 55 countries. Jean and Shakira went on to perform the song at the 2006 Grammys and the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. Jean released an album in September 2007 that he recorded in Atlanta, Georgia, with the help of T.I., who also collaborated with Jean on the songs "You Know What it is" and "My Swag" on T.I.'s 2007 album, T.I. vs. T.I.P. Recently, Wyclef released a new song called "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)" featuring Lil' Wayne, Niia and Akon, which references the song "C.R.E.A.M." by the Wu-Tang Clan. The album also features a single, "Fast Car", whose video was made with the assistance of video game Burnout Paradise. During this period, he was featured in a mix version of the Cartel song "Wasted" that was released with their self-titled album. In 2008, Jean was featured in a extended mix of the song called "Get That Clear (Hold Up)" with American singer Justin Timberlake and Jamaican duo Brick & Lace in the North American version of Brick & Lace's debut album, Love Is Wicked, which came out in January 2008. In November 2008, an upbeat single 'Let Me Touch Your Button' featuring will.i.am (of The Black Eyed Peas) was released in the UK in conjunction with Wyclef's involvement with UK MOTOROKRSTAR (which sees Motorola UK on the search to discover British talent). Jean released a song with Serj Tankian called "Riot".In 2009, he was featured in a song called "Spanish Fly" with Ludacris and Bachata group Aventura in Aventura's album The Last which came out in June. On June 17, 2009, Wyclef announced via Twitter that his new album will be called wyclefjean and is to be released sometime in February 2010. The first single from wyclefjean is to be titled "Seventeen" and will feature Lil' Wayne. In August 2009, Wyclef unveiled his video "Haitian Slumdog Millionaire" featuring Haitian artist Imposs. Making a guest appearance in the video was New York City entrepreneur and philanthropist Ali Naqvi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lEKWLpZMJAIn November 2009, a track titled "Suicide Love" featuring rapper Eve leaked online prior to the release of his EP. Wyclef Jean's EP named From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion was released on November 10, 2009. It includes 17 tracks, featuring Cyndi Lauper, Timbaland, Eve, and Lil' Kim. In this album, Wyclef uses the alias Toussaint St. Jean, his alter ego, when he raps.Wyclef Jean's upcoming self-entitled studio album was due to be released in 2011, has still yet to be released. "Hold On," the lead single from the project, will feature Dancehall artist Mavado.Grammy Awards

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