Wyclef Jean is a Haitian American musician, record producer, and politician. At age nine, Jean moved to the United States 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.
Jean's musical breakthrough was as part of The Refugee Camp (The Fugees), a three-member group that included Lauryn Hill and Prakazrel "Pras" Michel. Jean is Pras's cousin and a fellow Haitian immigrant. The Fugees released the group's debut album, Blunted on Reality. It sold fairly well, 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 began his 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 Sedec, the I Threes, The Neville Brothers and Celia Cruz. The album was a hit, as were two singles: "We Trying to Stay Alive" and "Gone Till November".
Jean's second solo album The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book was released in 2000. Guests included 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). 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.
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 fifty-five 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 which 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 November 2008, an upbeat single 'Let Me Touch Your Button' featuring will.i.am was released in the UK in conjunction with Wyclef's invovlement with UK MOTOROKRSTAR (which sees Motorola UK on the search to discover British talent).
Wyclef Jean's EP, 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.
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.