Wyclef Jean – Thu, Mar 30, 2017 8:00 pm
In his early teens, Jean and his family moved to Newark, New Jersey, so that Gesner Jean could assume a post at the city’s Good Shepherd Church of the Nazarene. At Newark’s Vailsburg High School, Wyclef stayed focused on his passion for music. He majored in jazz, studied the ins and outs of the music business, and learned to play more than 15 instruments. Wyclef, along with his cousin Prakazrel Michel and friend Lauryn Hill, also started experimenting with hip-hop music. In order to afford studio time to record their original compositions, Jean saved up money from his job at an area McDonald’s.
Jean’s talent quickly came to the attention of music executives and, while he was still a minor, he was offered a recording contract. The deal fell through, however, because Jean’s father refused to condone his musical tastes. “When I’d come back from the studio, I’d get a whipping from my dad, ’cause I was playing devil’s music,” Jean later told Rolling Stone magazine.
Wyclef Jean’s band, the Fugees, released their debut album, Blunted on Reality, in 1993. It was the group’s second album, The Score (1996), however, that catapulted the Fugees to stardom. The Score sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. After making several albums, in August 2010, Jean made headlines when he announced that he would be running the presidency of Haiti. Soon after his announcement, however, he was declared ineligible.