Though the music industry has always been male-dominated, there is one woman who challenges all of the assumptions made about women in music and that woman is Lauryn Hill.
First introduced to the masses as the only female singer in the Fugees, it was Lauryn’s 1998 solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill that gave her immortal recognition as a singer, songwriter, rapper, and producer. The album sold an estimated 423,000 copies in its first week, and approximately eight million copies worldwide, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and went on to win a total of five Grammy awards at the 41st annual ceremony, including taking home Album of the Year honors.
In today’s music scene, Lauryn’s music maintains its relevance by being sampled samples in songs by J. Cole (who sampled “Nothing Even Matters,” and “To Zion”); the Wu-Tang Clan (who sampled “Ex-Factor”); and Fabolous. (who sampled “Lost Ones”).
At this year’s 28th annual ASCAP Awards in Los Angeles, California, Hill joined a group of honorees that already includes music pioneers Pharrell, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Sean “Diddy” Combs, when she was honored with the most prestigious award of the night, the ASCAP Golden Note Award. Given to composers and artists, who have achieved extraordinary milestones throughout their musical career, Hill was undoubtedly deserving of the praise the and standing ovation she received. ASCAP winner, Sevyn, told press her favorite Lauryn song, “has to be her collaboration with D’Angelo in ‘Nothing Even Matters.’”
Hill took the stage in a striking green gown with her live band to perform hits off The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill including “Doo Wop (that thing)” and “Ex-Factor,” which had stars like Jazmine Sullivan, Michelle Williams, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Jeremih grateful to be in the presence of a legend who has inspired their own successful careers.
- Marina Moreno