Wyclef Jean is a multiplatinum Haitian-American musician, actor, producer and former-member of the hip hop trio The Fugees. Wyclef has sold more than 31 million albums throughout his career, together with his album sales with The Fugees.
Jean’s musical breakthrough was as one-third of The Refugee Camp (« Fugees »), consisting of Lauryn Hill, Prakazrel « Pras » Michel and Pras’ cousin and fellow Haitian immigrant, Wyclef Jean. The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records, which released the group’s debut album, Blunted on Reality. It sold poorly, peaking at #49 on the U.S. Hot 100 and selling over 2 million copies worldwide. The follow-up album The Score sold over 18 million copies worldwide, eventually becoming a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning album.
Jean 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 Melky Sedeck and Farel Sedeck Guerschom Jean, 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).
Jean’s second solo album, released in 2000, was The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. This 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’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’s next studio album is expected to be released by the end of 2009. Although originally titled « To Sir, With Love », Wyclef posted on his official blog that this is no longer the name of the album and invited fans to guess the new title. Rumored collaborations include Shakira, Timbaland, and Pharell. On May 9, 2009, a demo entitled « The Border » was leaked onto music blogs. This demo was credited as Wyclef Jean featuring Shakira, although the opposite may actually be true.