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Wyclef Jean Biography

Home > Music > J > Jean, Wyclef > Biography

Birth Name: Nel Ust Wyclef Jean
Born: 1969/10/17
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Years Active: 1987–present
Genres: Hip Hop, Reggae, Compas, R&B, Folk, Bachata

Nel Ust Wyclef Jean (born October 17, 1969) is a Haitian 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 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' group Melky Sedeck 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" and "Gone Till November". The album sold over 5 million copies worldwide, and was RIAA certified 2x Platinum.

Released in 2000, Jean's second solo album “The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book” 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. The album reached #9 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Jean's third album, “Masquerade,” was released in 2002. It peaked at #2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #6 on the Billboard 200 chart.

His fourth album, “The Preacher's Son,” was released in November 2003 as the follow-up to his first solo album, “The Carnival.” It peaked at #5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #22 on the Billboard 200 chart.

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.

“From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion” was released on November 10, 2009. It is a concept album telling the story of the fictional character Toussaint St Jean, who is based on the 18th century Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L'Ouverture.