Lauryn Hill Reveals Tour to Mark ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ Turning 25. Here are Five Things You May Not Know About the Singer Who Prefers to be Addressed as Ms. Hill

Lauryn Hill rhymed her way into music history and hip-hop legend-hood when she released “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” on Aug. 25, 1998.

The iconic solo debut featured a blend of genres that garnered Hill record-breaking sales of 19 million copies worldwide and 10 Grammy nominations, five of which she won. She made history in the process by becoming the first woman to accomplish such a feat and cemented her status as one of the greatest artists to ever do it.

As 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, it seems like divine timing that Hill’s most celebrated body of work is also turning 25. Recently, Hill announced that she will be adding to the album’s legacy by embarking on a “Miseducation” tour this fall to mark the occasion.

Lauryn Hill performs on stage during day 1 of Madcool Festival on July 11, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo: Mariano Regidor/Redferns)

Set to start in October, the anniversary tour will also feature Hill’s band mates from The Fugees – Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel. While loyal fans are purchasing tickets and waiting in anticipation for the tour to begin, here are five things to know about the multi-talented entertainer.

1. Lauryn Hill got booed at The Apollo when she was a teenager

The “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” songstress now might have been known as music royalty for decades, but she didn’t start that way. Hill almost became a victim of the Sandman during her first public appearance at The Apollo’s Amateur Night in 1987. Only 13 at the time, some audience members began booing when Hill took the stage to sing Smokey Robinson and The Miracles’ classic hit “Who’s Lovin’ You.”

Her raw talent and signature vocals were evident even then, but initially her nerves seemed to get the best of her. When some started booing others clapped, and she redeemed herself by finishing strong and made it to the end of her performance.

2. She demands to be addressed as “Ms. Hill” only

Hill voluntarily retreated from the public eye, offering only the occasional appearance or performance after skyrocketing to success. She said she did so to maintain the integrity of who she was.

“I don’t think I ever handled celebrity. For a period of time I had to step away entirely,” she told Essence in an interview published in 2009 that was updated in October 2020. “People need to understand that the Lauryn Hill they were exposed to in the beginning was all that was allowed in that arena at that time. … I had to step away when I realized that for the sake of the machine, I was being way too compromised.”

When she re-emerged, a new requirement on how she should be addressed came with her. Though many in the past referred to her as Lauryn Hill or L-Boogie, she now prefers to be addressed as Ms. Hill.

She’s gotten flak and been labeled a diva for the mandate. In 2020, reports emerged claiming that Hill’s management team instructed staffers at the Sundance Film Festival to only refer to her as Ms. Hill and not look her in the eye while preparing for her performance.

Hill denied the latter but is unapologetic about former. According to Hill, addressing her as Ms. Hill is not negotiable. She addressed the matter in a 2018 article she penned for Medium.

“I never told anyone not to look me in the eye, that may have been something someone said assuming what I wanted,” Hill wrote. “And yes, Ms. Hill was absolutely a requirement. I was young, Black and female. Not everyone can work for and give the appropriate respect to a person in that package and in charge. It was important, especially then, for that to be revealed early.”

3. Hill was supposed to star in several movies, including ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘The Matrix,’ but turned them down

In addition to being gifted musically, Hill is also a talented actress. She got her first professional role playing a teen on the soap opera “As The World Turns.” She also was a main character on “Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit” alongside Whoopi Goldberg and had a minor role in “King of the Hill.”

She reportedly was in talks to be in several other films that turned out to be fan favorites, including “The Matrix,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Beloved,” “The Mexican,” “The Bourne Identity” and “Dreamgirls.” However, she turned them all down due to her decision to retreat from the industry and focus on her spirituality and raising her children (She has six who were born between 1997 and 2011).

4. Hill met Pras in high school and he introduced her to Wyclef. The group had four members at one point.

Many groups go through multiple iterations before and after fame. For The Fugees, this process occurred before they blew up. Pras and Hill met at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. Originally named Tyme with a band called the Tranzlator Crew, the group consisted of Pras, Hill and their mutual friend Marcy Harriell.

Wyclef, who grew up with Pras and was like a cousin to him, joined the group shortly before Harriell left. The group rebranded to pay homage to their Haitian ancestry by putting a spin on the word refugee, which was once used derisively toward Haitian immigrants.

5. Lauryn Hill’s impact on music has earned her numerous historical accolades and entry into the National Recording Registry

Despite her many ups and downs and periods of isolation over the years, for countless fans Lauryn Hill remains “that girl.” She has been dubbed by many as the greatest female MC of all time and one of the most gifted lyricists in the genre overall.

Billboard ranked her as the seventh-greatest rapper of all time in 2015, and she was the only woman to make the Top 10 list. On this year’s updated list in honor of Hip-Hop 50, Hill came in at No. 30 on Billboard’s Top 50 list of the greatest rappers of all time.

In 1998, Time named her the “Queen of Hip Hop“ and earlier this year, Rolling Stone listed Hill at No. 136 of its 200 greatest singers of all time.

She’s won numerous other accolades and awards from various music organizations and is the first female hip-hop artist to have a Diamond-certified album. EuroNews says Hill “revolutionized” hip-hop with “Miseducation.”

Many share their sentiment. In 2014, Hill’s cultural significance was recognized by the Library of Congress when “Miseducation” was selected for the National Recording Registry.


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