Wyclef Jean
Haitian musician, record producer, and politician
Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jeanelle Jean is a three-time Grammy Award-winning Haitian-American rapper, singer-songwriter, 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.
Biography
Wyclef Jean's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Wyclef Jean from around the web
Live Music: Wyclef Jean
NYTimes - 3 days
Wyclef Jean, a hip-hop artist, performed for The New York Times and answered online audience questions.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Wyclef Jean Talks Young Thug, Trap Music And The Joy Of Carnival
NPR - 19 days
While characteristically full of Caribbean themes, Jean's latest release makes room for some of the voices and sounds dominating hip-hop today. (Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)
Article Link:
NPR article
Wyclef Jean Trolls Donald Trump In 'If I Was President' Remix Video
Huffington Post - 4 months
Wyclef Jean is back with a new politically charged track. And the former Fugees singer doesn’t hold back in trolling Donald Trump in its official video, which Funny Or Die posted online Friday. In the clip for “If I Was President 2016,” the rapper imagines what life in the White House will be like for the winner of the presidential election. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would spend most of her time breakdancing on the Oval Office’s desk, according to Jean.  Had Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) somehow gained power, he’d mostly be napping, the musican believes. And GOP nominee Trump? Well, he’d just be angry.  “Calm down Trump, calm down,” aides of “President” Trump’s sing to him in the clip. But he gets even more frustrated and rips off his wig in anger. The song is an updated version of Jean’s 2008 track “If I Was President,” in which he rallied against spending billions of dollars on wars. In this revised editi ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Wyclef Jean Trolls Donald Trump In 'If I Was President' Remix Video
Huffington Post - 4 months
Wyclef Jean is back with a new politically charged track. And the former Fugees singer doesn’t hold back in trolling Donald Trump in its official video, which Funny Or Die posted online Friday. In the clip for “If I Was President 2016,” the rapper imagines what life in the White House will be like for the winner of the presidential election. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would spend most of her time breakdancing on the Oval Office’s desk, according to Jean.  Had Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) somehow gained power, he’d mostly be napping, the musican believes. And GOP nominee Trump? Well, he’d just be angry.  “Calm down Trump, calm down,” aides of “President” Trump’s sing to him in the clip. But he gets even more frustrated and rips off his wig in anger. The song is an updated version of Jean’s 2008 track “If I Was President,” in which he rallied against spending billions of dollars on wars. In this revised editi ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Q&A: The musical and money evolution of hip hop's Wyclef Jean
Reuters.com - 5 months
NEW YORK (Reuters) - If anyone on Earth is familiar with the extremes of money - poverty and wealth - it is Wyclef Jean.
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
Why I Love Black History Month--and How To Do It Better
Huffington Post - about 1 year
I love Black History Month. I just believe we can do it better. At the beginning of February last year I had a long talk with the young people at my youth program Alive & Free to find out what they knew about Black History. Not surprisingly, it wasn't very much. Most of their answers centered on Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, George Washington Carver and Rosa Parks. Almost all of them knew black people had once been slaves-conversations which made them feel uncomfortable especially when these conversations were held in classes at school. What I learned from listening is that for most of them there was no real teaching or learning that goes on and certainly nothing with any depth or substance. Some had learned about famous black individuals or about black inventors, although most couldn't recall half of what they heard. Some remembered there were posters hung around the school depicting famous Black people. Others remembered a Black History presentation or program with a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Don't Say Michael Jackson. "Don't Say You Love Me" is B. Howard's Hit
Huffington Post - about 1 year
It says enough that Beverly Hills pop artist Brandon "B." Howard has just released a single that's in the top 20 on Billboard magazine's dance song chart. But his history with the legendary Jackson family is too intriguing to leave it there. A speaking voice genuinely like Michael's invokes an eerie specter when trying to extract basic information, like how old he is. His whispery answer: "Timeless." So, looking for clues.... On December 13, the day after his release party for "Don't Say You Love Me" (DSYLM) at Berlin's hot Felix ClubRestaurant, B. Howard was agog over the presence of Hollywood types at his celebration. "It was freaking awesome. People from James Bond were there and all," he shared breathlessly. "I had a rocking release party last night." Along with his uncorrupted face and pubescent tenor, that kind of zeal over starry peripherals would put him at around 19. But it turns out he's been working as a record producer since 2003. A teenager he is not. More import ...
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Huffington Post article
An Open Letter to Idahoans
Huffington Post - over 1 year
On November 16, North Idaho Rep. Heather Scott wrote her constituents and told them to be scared of Muslim refugees coming to America, calling them a "Trojan Horse." I want to tell you that I understand why you might be nervous about the possibility of a large influx of strangers from a war-torn land coming into our country. I also want to tell you why we shouldn't close our borders to our fellow human beings at a time when they need our compassion the most. My name is Jasmine El-Gamal and I am the daughter of Muslim immigrants. My father left Egypt in his 20s. A proud Egyptian, he was also always searching for ways to better himself. With his parents long gone, he kissed his siblings goodbye and headed to a country he heard was built by immigrants, for immigrants. A land where everyone was equal, where hard work meant a steady paycheck and the possibility of owning your own house, and where families convened every year on Thanksgiving to celebrate their blessings. He dreamt of ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
An Open Letter to Idahoans
Huffington Post - over 1 year
On November 16, North Idaho Rep. Heather Scott wrote her constituents and told them to be scared of Muslim refugees coming to America, calling them a "Trojan Horse." I want to tell you that I understand why you might be nervous about the possibility of a large influx of strangers from a war-torn land coming into our country. I also want to tell you why we shouldn't close our borders to our fellow human beings at a time when they need our compassion the most. My name is Jasmine El-Gamal and I am the daughter of Muslim immigrants. My father left Egypt in his 20s. A proud Egyptian, he was also always searching for ways to better himself. With his parents long gone, he kissed his siblings goodbye and headed to a country he heard was built by immigrants, for immigrants. A land where everyone was equal, where hard work meant a steady paycheck and the possibility of owning your own house, and where families convened every year on Thanksgiving to celebrate their blessings. He dreamt of ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
That Time Wyclef Jean Ran For President Of Haiti
NPR - over 1 year
Haitian-American musician Pras Michel talks about his new documentary, Sweet Micky for President, which chronicles an unconventional presidential election in post-earthquake Haiti.
Article Link:
NPR article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Wyclef Jean
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    Age 46
    Jean has also appeared as a featured vocalist in The Knocks' single "Kiss The Sky", which was released in January 2016. This song is expected to be a part of their debut album, entitled 55, scheduled to be released in March 2016.
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  • 2014
    Age 44
    Along with Carlos Santana, Avicii and Alexandre Pires, he was chosen to perform the closing ceremony at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
    More Details Hide Details Their single, "Dar Um Jeito" ("We Will Find a Way"), the official World Cup anthem, was released on April 29, 2014.
  • 2012
    Age 42
    It was reported erroneously that Jean would be attending the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
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    In August 2012, Johnson resigned from his position and announced the closure of the charity, saying in a statement to supporters "As the foundation’s sole remaining employee, my decision implies the closure of the organization as a whole."
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  • 2011
    Age 41
    In 2011, President Michel Martelly of Haiti awarded Jean with the National Order of Honour and Merit to the rank of Grand Officer "as a sign of high consideration national for his dedication to the promotion of Haiti around the world."
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    Although Jean has only been active in Haitian politics, in 2011 he told Women's Wear Daily that he was "a big fan of Sarah Palin", a right-wing American politician from the Republican Party.
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    Wyclef Jean's upcoming self-entitled studio album was due to be released in 2011, but has yet to surface. "Hold On", the lead single from the project, features dancehall artist Mavado. In May 2014, a Wyclef video, "April Showers", was banned from YouTube after Cathy Scott, author of The Killing of Tupac Shakur, lodged a copyright infringement complaint with YouTube claiming an image in the video was similar to an autopsy photo released in her book.
    More Details Hide Details YouTube banned the video. TMZ, which broke the story, reported that the video director, Hezues R', and Scott had settled the matter and agreed that Hezues R' would include a screen credit to the book at the end of the video. He worked with Avicii on a single titled "Divine Sorrow" from his upcoming album Clefication. In 2015, Wyclef collaborated again with Avicii on a song called "Can't Catch Me" on the DJ/Producer's album "Stories" which also featured Matisyahu. This marks the third collaboration with Avicii and Wyclef Jean, following "Dar Um Jeito (We Will Find A Way)" and "Divine Sorrow".
    On March 19, 2011, Jean claimed that he was shot in the palm of his right hand in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
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  • 2010
    Age 40
    On August 20, 2010, his bid for candidacy was rejected by Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council.
    More Details Hide Details He was turned down because he did not meet the residency requirement of having lived in Haiti for five years before the November 28 election. Afterwards, Wyclef stated: I respectfully accept the committee's final decision, and I urge my supporters to do the same.
    On August 5, Jean formally filed papers as a candidate for the 2010 Haitian presidential election, following media speculation that he would make his announcement that evening on Larry King Live.
    More Details Hide Details Wyclef would have run as a candidate for the Viv Ansanm (Live Together) political party. Aside from opposition from Sean Penn regarding Jean's Haitian presidential plans, Arcade Fire's Win Butler (whose wife Regine is Haitian) stated in a radio interview: "Technically, Wyclef Jean shouldn't be eligible because he hasn't been a resident of Haiti. And I think him not speaking French and not being fluent in Creole would be a really major issue in trying to run a really complex government, like the government in Haiti. It would kind of be like Arnold Schwarzenegger only speaking Austrian German and being elected president of the United States after New York City and LA had burned to the ground... I think he is a great musician and he really passionately cares about Haiti. I really hope he throws his support behind someone who is really competent and really eligible."
    On August 5, 2010, Wyclef confirmed the rumors that he was running for office by telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he was running, though Blitzer had questions about Jean's actual citizenship and passport.
    More Details Hide Details In an article written by Exclaim! magazine it was mentioned that Jean will be stepping down as the chairman of Yéle Haiti.
    A forensic audit conducted by Schneiderman's office also disclosed that in 2010, the year of the earthquake in Haiti, the organization had spent over $9 million - half of it on travel alone.
    More Details Hide Details The charity, which remains closed, is also the target of lawsuits in Haiti for unpaid debts.
    The foundation, named with a word coined by Jean meaning "cry for freedom", achieved a higher profile and a great deal of funding in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake that devastated Haiti and its capital Port-au-Prince.
    More Details Hide Details According to Jean, Yéle raised over $1 million in 24 hours using a plea on Twitter and more through Jean's participation in an MTV donation drive and other publicity efforts to benefit survivors of the earthquake. Together with George Clooney, Jean organized the "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon. It was the most watched telethon to date in history, and aired on almost every network and many cable channels. Jean gave the last performance of the telethon, and performed a medley of songs that ended with Haiti's traditional Rara music. Following the earthquake, the Yéle organization donated funds to orphanages, street cleaning crews, hospitals and medical clinics and organized food service to provide hot meals to refugees and victims of the catastrophe. Not long after the earthquake and Jean's heavily publicized efforts to raise money for disaster relief, questions were raised about the history and management of the Yéle charity. A New York Times article, working from an investigation performed by the Smoking Gun website, reported that the Wyclef Jean Foundation failed to file required tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 until 2009, and that by early 2010, returns and records for 2008 had still not been filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The article, which included allegations by the Smoking Gun of mismanagement of funds, also reported criticism of the foundation by its former executive director, Sanjay Rawal, questioning its ability to handle large projects and its lack of financial controls.
    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. Jean's efforts at earthquake relief, highly publicized in 2010 throughout Haiti and the United States, were channeled through his charitable organization, Yéle Haiti. The charity, which performed a variety of charitable works in Haiti between 2005 and 2010, effectively closed in 2012 after much controversy over mismanagement of funds, with many believing that a large portion of the profits were not used for charitable purposes.
    More Details Hide Details Thus it has been claimed that much of the money raised by the organization in the Hope for Haiti Now telethon went to Jean's own benefit.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    Age 39
    Wyclef Jean's EP named From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion was released on November 10, 2009.
    More Details Hide Details It includes 17 tracks, featuring Cyndi Lauper, Timbaland, Eve, and Lil' Kim. In this album, Wyclef uses the alias Toussaint St. Jean, his alter ego, when he raps.
    In November 2009, a track titled "Suicide Love" featuring rapper Eve leaked online prior to the release of his EP.
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    In August 2009, Wyclef unveiled his video "Haitian Slumdog Millionaire" featuring Haitian artist Imposs.
    More Details Hide Details Making a guest appearance in the video was New York City entrepreneur and philanthropist Ali Naqvi.
    On June 17, 2009, Wyclef announced via Twitter that his new album would be called wyclefjean and was to be released sometime in February 2010.
    More Details Hide Details The first single from wyclefjean was to be titled "Seventeen" and feature Lil Wayne.
    In 2009, he was featured on the song "Spanish Fly" with Ludacris and Bachata group Aventura included on Aventura's album The Last, released in June.
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  • 2007
    Age 37
    Jean released an album in September 2007 that he recorded in Atlanta, Georgia, with the help of T.I., who also collaborated with Jean on the songs "You Know What it is" and "My Swag" on T.I.'s 2007 album, T.I. vs. T.I.P.
    More Details Hide Details Recently, Wyclef released a new song called "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)" featuring Lil Wayne, Niia and Akon, which references the song "C.R.E.A.M." by the Wu-Tang Clan. The album features a single, "Fast Car", whose video was made with the assistance of video game Burnout Paradise. During this period, he was featured in a mix version of the Cartel song "Wasted" that was released with their self-titled album. In November 2008, an upbeat single 'Let Me Touch Your Button' featuring will.i.am (of The Black Eyed Peas) was released in the UK in conjunction with Wyclef's involvement with UK MOTOROKRSTAR (which sees Motorola UK on the search to discover British talent). Jean released a song with Serj Tankian called "Riot".
    In 2007 he was featured in Eros Ramazzotti's song L'Aurora from the album e² and scored the Angelina Jolie documentary A Place in Time.
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    Jean and Shakira went on to perform the song at the 2007 Grammys and the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.
    More Details Hide Details He joined Shakira on various dates of her Oral Fixation Tour in the United States.
  • 2006
    Age 36
    In 2006, Jean was featured in Shakira's smash hit Hips Don't Lie.
    More Details Hide Details The song went on to become the highest selling single of the 21st century, in addition to reaching number one in over 55 countries.
  • 2004
    Age 34
    With Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis, Jean also composed the score of the documentary Ghosts of Cité Soleil, He helped produce the film and he appears briefly onscreen speaking by telephone in 2004 to a "chimere" gang-leader and aspiring rapper, Winston "2Pac" Jean.
    More Details Hide Details During a period between 2004 and 2006 and fueled by a reunion performance in Dave Chappelle's "Block Party", it appeared that the Fugees were on track to record a new album, however Fugees member Pras claimed to Billboard, "To put it nicely, it's dead." He said the root of this animosity was the third member of the group, Lauryn Hill, and was quoted in Billboard as saying; "Me and Clef, we on the same page, but Lauryn Hill is in her zone, and I'm fed up with that shit. Here she is, blessed with a gift, with the opportunity to rock and give and she's running on some bulls**t? I'm a fan of Lauryn's but I can't respect that."
    Then he covered Creedence Clearwater Revival's song "Fortunate Son" for the soundtrack of the 2004 film remake of The Manchurian Candidate and wrote the song "Million Voices" for the film Hotel Rwanda.
    More Details Hide Details Jean also produced and wrote songs for the soundtrack to Jonathan Demme's 2003 documentary The Agronomist, about the Haitian activist and radio personality Jean Dominique.
    In 2004, he released his fifth album, Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haïti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records).
    More Details Hide Details Most of its songs are in his native language of Haitian Creole like "Fanm Kreyòl" with the French Caribbean Admiral T. He also figured on the album Mozaik Kreyòl of this one in the song "Secret Lover".
  • 2003
    Age 33
    His fourth album, The Preacher's Son, was released in November 2003 as the follow-up to his first solo album, The Carnival.
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  • 2002
    Age 32
    His third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002.
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  • 2001
    Age 31
    Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jean participated in the benefit concert America: A Tribute to Heroes contributing a cover of the Bob Marley song "Redemption Song".
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  • 2000
    Age 30
    He was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Act at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details With Blige he released "911" as a single.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1997
    Age 27
    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).
    More Details Hide Details 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" (adapted from the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive") and "Gone Till November" (recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra).
    Fugees collaborated with singer Bounty Killer on the single "Hip-Hopera" and recorded the single "Rumble in the Jungle" for the soundtrack to the film When We Were Kings in 1997: although they have not released any studio albums since The Score, a compilation album, Greatest Hits, was released in 2003, and spawned the single "Take It Easy".
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  • 1994
    Age 24
    The group's debut album, Blunted on Reality, was released in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details It achieved limited commercial success, only peaking at number 62 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart: however, the album peaked at number 122 on the UK Albums Chart in 1997, and was certified gold by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP). Blunted on Reality spawned three singles: "Boof Baf", "Nappy Heads" and "Vocab". "Nappy Heads" became their first single to appear on the US Billboard Hot 100, charting at number 49. In 1996, the Fugees released their second album, titled The Score. The album achieved significant commercial success in the United States, topping the US Billboard 200, and was later certified six-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It performed well in several overseas territories, topping the Austrian, Canadian, French, German and Swiss albums charts, whilst also peaking at number two in Sweden and the United Kingdom. Four commercially successful singles were released from The Score; "Fu-Gee-La", the first single from the album, peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold by the RIAA and by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI). The other three singles – "Killing Me Softly", "Ready or Not" and "No Woman, No Cry" – did not appear on the Billboard Hot 100 as they were not released for commercial sale, making them ineligible to appear on the chart, although they all received sufficient airplay to appear on the Hot 100 Airplay and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts. "Killing Me Softly", a cover of the Roberta Flack song "Killing Me Softly with His Song", performed strongly in other territories, topping the singles charts in Australia, Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom, among several others.
    In 1994, he married Fusha designer Marie Claudinette.
    More Details Hide Details In 2005, they adopted their daughter, Angelina Claudinelle Jean. The couple renewed their vows in August 2009. His "uncle", strictly a cousin, (Jean's mother is Joseph's first cousin) the political activist, journalist and diplomat Raymond Alcide Joseph has been the Haitian ambassador to the United States since 2005, and came to prominence as a spokesman for his country after the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. Together with Wyclef, he issued an appeal for international aid.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1982
    Age 12
    Jean was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, the son of a Nazarene pastor. In 1982 Wyclef moved with his family to northern New Jersey.
    More Details Hide Details Jean has cited reggae artist Bigga Haitian as one of his early influences, as well as neighborhood heroes MC Tiger Paw Raw and producer Lobster v. Crab. Jean graduated from Vailsburg High School, Newark, New Jersey, briefly attended Eastern Nazarene College and finished one semester at Five Towns College in New York. Jean has been a resident of Saddle River, South Orange, and North Caldwell, New Jersey. In 2009, Jean enrolled in the Berklee College of Music.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1969
    Born
    Born on October 17, 1969.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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