Boom 92 salutes Multi-platinum, Grammy award winning artist, songwriter and producer, (and almost Haitian presidential candidate) Nel Ust Wycliffe Jean or better known as Wyclef Jean!
Wyclef Jean was born in Haiti and lived there until age 9, when he moved with his family to the United States first to Brooklyn, and later New Jersey. Wyclef Jean learned to play the guitar and rap as a teen, and with his cousin Pras Michel and Lauryn Hill, Wyclef rose to fame in the mid 90’s when he debuted his talents as the frontman for the legendary Hip Hop group The Fugees.
They became known for their political lyrics and unusual mix of hip-hop, pop and reggae with tracks like “Killing Me Softly”, “Ready or Not” and “Fu Gee La” becoming some of the biggest tracks of hip hop history. The immense success of the fugees was only Followed by a hugely successful solo career and creating one of the biggest worldwide hits in pop history (Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie”), the music mogul would become responsible for selling over 160 million records worldwide.
The winner of multiple Grammy awards, an American music award, and a Golden Globe nominee – Wyclef has effortlessly crossed genres and geographic boundaries. He has collaborated with such artists as Bono, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, T.I., Mary J. Blige and Destiny’s Child. Wyclef wanted to touch the world with more than just his music, and in 2005 he created the Yéle Haiti Foundation. The fund was set up to assist the education of children in Gonaives, after the destruction caused by Hurricane Jeane. In its first year, the foundation provided scholarships to 3,600 children and this figure was almost doubled in its second year. In 2010 wyclef made an attempt to run for President of his native republic of Haiti, but the Electoral Commission ruled him ineligible to stand as he had not met the requirement to have been resident in Haiti for five years.
His music has touched the heart and souls of many, and so has his work as a humanitarian. For that we salute Wyclef Jean!