Wyclef Jean Biography
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Wyclef Jean Biography

Bio Synopsis

Wyclef Jean, who was born October 17, 1969, in Haiti but grew up and rose to fame as a singer with the Fugees in America, had launched his campaign in a blaze of publicity. Wyclef has been rewarded for his creativity and adventurousness with three Grammy Awards, a spot on the cover of Rolling Stone’s special “Top 50 Hip Hop Players,” and the opportunity to make music with such legends as Michael Jackson, Queen, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, and Tom Jones. Here’s Wyclef Jean Biography and Profile. Read more


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Wyclef Jean Early Life

Wyclef Jean, who was born October 17, 1969, in Haiti but grew up and rose to fame as a singer with the Fugees in America, had launched his campaign in a blaze of publicity. But within days he was said to be in hiding because of alleged security concerns and death threats. His attempt to turn from singer and music mogul into national leader ended in circumstances every bit as strange as the rest of his campaign. Nel Ust Wyclef Jean is a Haitian rapper, musician and actor. At the age of nine, Jean immigrated to the United States with his family. He first achieved fame as a member of the New Jersey hip hop group the Fugees. Jean has won three Grammy Awards for his musical work.

The first product of Wyclef and Avicii’s dynamic chemistry, the reflective electro-acoustic ballad “Divine Sorrow,” instantly blew up on YouTube when the lyric video was posted November, racking up four million views and reminding people that Wyclef Jean can still astound people with his music. When an era-defining superstar takes time between albums, people often wonder if the artist has perhaps retired, but Wyclef has never stopped making music. “Every day when I wake up, I go into the studio and record,” he says. “There’s always a guitar and a piano nearby. I’m always writing, that’s my survival. I don’t go to a therapist. My therapy is when I pick up my guitar and sing.”

African Heritage

Wyclef Jean was always aware of his African heritage, calling Haitians “the Nigerians of the Caribbean” and Jean, in his own words, is “almost 100% Nigerian”, confirmed by a DNA ancestry test. His music has always been influenced by his Haitian and African roots and, in 2004, Jean made his first trip to Africa to perform with music legend Fela Kuti’s son Femi Kuti. Jean had released a song titled “Diallo” in memory of Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old Guinean immigrant who was shot 19 times by four New York City policemen in 1999. The song did not get much play in the US, however on arrival to Lagos, Nigeria, he was overwhelmed by the sea of fans waiting by the plane holding signs that read “Diallo, Diallo”. The song had deeply resonated with his fans in Africa.

Wyclef Jean Biography and Profile

Wyclef Jean is a Haitian musician who ascended to stardom in the 1990s as a member of the remarkably successful hip-hop trio the Fugees. The music that Jean has written, performed, and produced — both as the lead member of the Fugees and as a solo artist — have established him as a significant force in popular music for over the past two decades.

Jean was born on October 17, 1969, in the small town of Croix-des-Bouquets, just outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. At the age of nine, he and his younger brother joined their parents and other siblings in Brooklyn, New York. During his teenage years, the family moved to Newark, New Jersey. In the late 1980s, Jean joined friends Prakazrel “Pras” Michel and Lauryn Hill to form a rap group. The trio signed with Columbia Records in 1993 as the Fugees and released their debut album, Blunted on Reality, the following year. It was their sophomore album released in 1996, The Score, that catapulted the Fugees to international success. An eclectic masterpiece that defied the sound of the time, the album hit No. 1 on the Billboard Chart and garnered two Grammy Awards. Jean famously went on stage to accept the Grammy for Best Rap Album draped in a Haitian flag, which inspired tremendous pride among the Haitian Diaspora.

The Fugees continued recording together, but they also began working on solo projects. Jean emerged as a major solo artist with his 1997 debut release The Carnival, which received rave reviews from critics and was a platinum-selling album. As a solo artist, Jean has thus far released six albums that have sold nearly nine million copies worldwide. In addition to producing and releasing his own music, Jean is also an illustrious producer who has worked with an impressive array of musicians, including Celia Cruz, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Whitney Houston, Santana, Destiny’s Child, Lil Wayne, and Shakira.

Wyclef Jean in Politics

One couldn’t blame Wyclef for wanting to take time away from the spotlight given the whirlwind of press, good and bad, he received after announcing that he was going to run for president of Haiti in 2010, the summer after a massive earthquake killed over 200,000 people. “It felt like something I needed to do at the time,” he says. Wyclef flew home to help and saw the devastation firsthand. “Haiti was in dire need and I wasn’t going to go down in history as just another musician who did nothing and just hid behind the songs,” he says. Born in Croix-des-Bouquets before moving to New Jersey at age nine, Wyclef has always kept very close ties to the Haitian people and continues to provide aid and consultation.

His love for his native country was reciprocated by many and questioned by others. “I stepped into the fire,” he says. “People took shots at me, of course. But it’s better to be right than popular. And history will always reveal the truth. You can’t live for the fakeness or you will just be erased from time.” However, the fury and the frenzy of the election left him depleted. “When I got back to New York I was out of my mind,” he says. “I had just had a really tense experience. I thought I could change policy and legislation there, but coming back to America — yo, it hit me. I was like, ‘Man, what am I gonna do?’ I was at the height of my musical career. Nobody could stop me. I was moving like a bullet as a producer.”

Haitian hip-hop star Wyclef Jean, who lives in the US, formally registered to stand for election, was not allowed to run in the country’s presidential election. Haitian constitution requires candidates to have lived in the country for five years prior to an election. The electoral council, which ruled against Mr Jean’s candidacy.

Wyclef Jean accepted his fate. “We must all honour the memories of those we’ve lost – whether in the earthquake, or at any time – by responding peacefully and responsibly to this disappointment.”

Wyclef Jean said that he felt he had been disqualified because of Haiti’s electoral law that states any candidate must have been resident in the country for five consecutive years. His supporters had argued that, as a United Nations goodwill ambassador for Haiti, he had recently been forced to travel globally for much of the time. His detractors said the singer had spent far more of his life in America than in Haiti. They also pointed to scrutiny of the financial affairs of his Haiti-based charity Yéle Haiti, which rose to prominence in the wake of this year’s earthquake.

Wyclef Jean Music Brand

The music that Wyclef Jean has written, performed, and produced — both as a solo superstar and as founder and guiding member of the Fugees — has been a consistently powerful, pop cultural force for over two decades. In 1996, the Fugees released their monumental album The Score, which inspired notoriously prickly rock critic Robert Christgau to write: “so beautiful and funny, its courage could make you weep.” The album, created in Wyclef’s studio in his uncle’s basement in New Jersey, hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart, spawned a trio of smash singles (including their indelible reinvention of Roberta Flack’s 1973 ballad “Killing Me Softly”), and is now certified six times platinum. But Wyclef, a child prodigy with a wealth of musical influences from jazz to classic rock to reggae, resisted the pressure to duplicate the sound and style of that masterwork. Instead, he launched himself as a producer and solo artist whose work drew from an innovative and eclectic palette that included elements of pop, country, folk, disco, Latin, and electronic music.

“I just keep moving,” he says today. “If I didn’t keep moving after The Score, y’all wouldn’t have had the biggest pop song of all time.” Wyclef is referring to Shakira’s chart-topping single “Hips Don’t Lie,” which he co-wrote and is featured on. That 2006 blockbuster climbed to No. 1 in 20 countries including the U.S. — a crowning achievement atop a nearly unprecedented run of hits that include Wyclef’s own “Gone Till November,” “Ghetto Superstar” (Pras feat. Wyclef Jean), Carlos Santana’s No. 1 single “Maria, Maria” (featuring Jean and Product G&B) and the late Whitney Houston’s “My Love is Your Love.” “The only record that captures Whitney, her daughter [Bobbi Kristina], and Bobby Brown all on one song,” Wyclef says of it.

Awards

Wyclef has been rewarded for his creativity and adventurousness with three Grammy Awards, a spot on the cover of Rolling Stone’s special “Top 50 Hip Hop Players,” and the opportunity to make music with such legends as Michael Jackson, Queen, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, and Tom Jones. As a solo artist, he has released six albums that have sold nearly nine million copies worldwide, including his 1997 debut The Carnival and 2000’s aptly titled The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, which even turned wrestling superstar/action hero The Rock into a pop star with the international hit single “It Doesn’t Matter.” Through it all, Wyclef kept an ear cocked for new talent. He helped launch Beyoncé´s career with Destiny’s Child’s early hit “No, No, No.”

Sonic Excursions

Wyclef Jean has not abandoned his dedication to sonic excursions. His album, the Carnival III: Road to Clefication, features contributions from Afrojack, Emeli Sandé, and multi-platinum DJ/recording artist Avicii. In fact Avicii is responsible for Wyclef’s new album’s title. “It’s a nickname he gave to me,” he explains. “We were in Stockholm recording and he said, ‘We need some ‘Clefication.’ Now when I’m in the studio with other producers from his generation, they’ll say, ‘Yo we need some ‘Clefication’ on the vocal before I swag it up.’ It’s the human application of music.”

Wyclef Jean ‘Devine Sorrow’

The first product of Wyclef and Avicii’s dynamic chemistry, the reflective electro-acoustic ballad “Divine Sorrow,” instantly blew up on YouTube when the lyric video was posted November, racking up four million views and reminding people that Wyclef Jean can still astound people with his music. When an era-defining superstar takes time between albums, people often wonder if the artist has perhaps retired, but Wyclef has never stopped making music. “Every day when I wake up, I go into the studio and record,” he says. “There’s always a guitar and a piano nearby. I’m always writing, that’s my survival. I don’t go to a therapist. My therapy is when I pick up my guitar and sing.”

“Divine Sorrow” addresses the experience, in part, in its lyrics: “Dearie blossom I’m going down to old rock bottom / I know the love in your heart was true / I thank you for the joy that follow.” “For me, ‘Divine Sorrow’ was like my returning hymn to the world,” Wyclef says. “We embarked on a small European tour when I got back and, based off that, I decided I was going to go in…. and just start cutting some music. I felt the bug. The album bug.” (He also got the acting bug, appearing in a story arc on the hit ABC series Nashville in 2014.)

As big a comeback as “Divine Sorrow” has proven to be, one should not count on Carnival III: Road to Clefication being an entire album full of ballads. “Do I have anything for the clubs?” he asks. You’re talking to The Carnival Man! I’ve done the biggest dance records of all time! We plan to put them on the dancefloor more so than ever. I’m also working with DJ Khaled. We go back 20 years. The chemistry is insane. We know people want that dancefloor bounce from us — that hip hop thing.”

Which leaves only one question. How long can Wyclef keep it up now that he’s back at his old velocity? “The forties are the new youth of hip hop,” he says with a laugh. And while he hints that the Fugees crew are all on good terms, and he doesn’t rule out a future reunion with Lauryn Hill and Pras, right now, Wyclef is trying to reckon with his past and write a new chapter. “The music I’m making, it’s sounding like the ‘90s meets 2017,” he says. “It’s very authentic and all about the vocality, making people feel and reminisce off of that sound they love but combining it with new sonics.” The release of his latest project, J’ouvert, is reinforcement of that sound aesthetic and builds excitement for the long-anticipated Carnival III, coming this summer.

Wyclef Jean Cannabis Product Line With Cali Life

Wyclef Jean is the latest celebrity to launch their very own cannabis product line. Cali Life Cannabis announced on Wednesday that they have partnered with the artist and producer for his BOOM BAP collection, showcasing his favorite blends of flowers, infused pre-rolls with kief and flavored distillate.

“Experiencing the American dream as an immigrant and son of a preacher who was also a farmer has inspired me to become a social entrepreneur,” Jean tells Rolling Stone. “I am glad I waited to partner up with Cali Life. Not only will we bring more jobs, which I am excited about, I am also hopeful that maybe my native land and the parliament will someday pass legislation so Haiti can grow and export cannabis. For now, just be clear, whenever you see that BOOMBAP Kush, you know it’s me!”

Charitable Initiatives

The generous charitable initiatives established by three-time Grammy Award winner Wyclef Jean, in his native Haiti and other developing countries in Africa, are a significant part of his legacy. Jean hopes to see these regions continue to thrive and, more recently, has turned his attention to the fast-growing music genre of Afrobeats, which has had a burst of commercial success globally, in 2018 and 2019. Wyclef Jean’s Carnival World Music Group, raised an impressive $25M in capital funding. The group seeks to democratize the global music marketplace for songwriters and producers in developing regions, whilst contributing to further empower dynamic women-owned businesses in the music industry.

This experience sparked a love affair with the continent and during this trip, he spent time with a number of Nigerian recording artists such as D’Banj and 2Face Idibia. “Whether it was Haiti or Africa, there was something that connected me to the vibe” Jean recalls. To date, he has travelled into to Africa over 75 times, visiting countries across the continent, absorbing music and culture and working with local talent. Jean feels that, although it’s taken some time for the Afrobeats genre to travel across to the U.S., “like all good things, creating a form of music from its roots takes time” and believes “you can’t talk about Western popular culture today without talking about Africa; from the dance styles to the music, African inspiration is there.”

Now armed with $25 million in capital investment, Carnival World Music Group is looking for “the next Burna Boy or Wizkid” and will be launching a number of initiatives this year, in their search to do just that.

Death of Kobe Bryant

Wyclef Jean is struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of Kobe Bryant. He took a moment to remember his late friend while walking the red carpet at the 2020 Grammy Awards, admitting he was still at a loss for words.

“You feel like a hammer hit your heart,” he tells PEOPLE. “This is someone, personally, I’ve known and spoken to on the phone. You meet this guy and he’s the most incredible, nicest teddy bear.”

Jean said Bryant’s legacy as both a family man and an NBA star will live on and serve as an “example” for others.

“[He was] an example to all of us — an idea of how you’re supposed to be with your family and how you’re supposed to be with your kids. It’s like, you’re still trying to process it. There’s really no words for it. There’s no words for it, man,” he said. “One of the flyest dudes, and … he knows he’s beyond talented, but his whole thing is he’s going to perform as if he’s working hard, as if he has no talent. So he takes it beyond the extreme. That’s how he teaches us to do anything in life.”

Bryant is survived by Vanessa, 37, and three of their four children together: daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.

Family

Haitian rapper and musician Wyclef Jean‘s wife is Claudinette Jean. She lives with her husband in Newark, New Jersey. Born as Marie Claudinette Pierre-Jean, Claudinette is in a happily married relationship with her husband Wyclef Jean since 1994.

The celebrity couple’s marriage has lasted over two decades, which is a lovely thing to have. The lovebirds like to keep their personal life and children out of public limelight. However, Claudinette reportedly has a daughter with her husband Wyclef. Wyclef Jean’s daughter with his wife Claudinette Jean is an adopted Haitian girl, named Angelina Claudinelle Jean.

Wyclef Jean Biography and Profile

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