October 17: Haitian-born rap artist Wyclef Jean of the Fugees is 42-years-old today.

"Hips Don't Lie" with Shakira

At age nine, Jean moved to Brooklyn, New York 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 has cited reggae artist Bigga Haitian as one of his early influences.

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. The group's debut album, Blunted on Reality 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 a solo career with 1997's Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival. 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).

Wyclef has collaborated with many other artists. Perhaps his most memorable was "Hips Don't Lie" with Shakira in 2006.

HIGHLY Recommended (Links to Amazon):

Fugees - Greatest HitsCarnival II: Memoirs of an ImmigrantWyclef Jean's All Star Jam At Carnegie Hall

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.



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