Lauryn Hill is one of the most iconic performers of the 1990s. The singer and rapper rose to fame as a member of the Fugees and also starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg in 1993’s Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. Hill’s debut solo album, 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, sold millions of copies and garnered Hill a slew of awards including several Grammys (via Biography).
Decades later, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill remains Hill’s only album. Disappointed fans have wondered for years why Hill hasn’t released more music, especially as she is still performing. What happened?
According to Hill, she was simply not asked to record another album. “The wild thing is, no one from my label has ever called me and asked, ‘How can we help you make another album?'” she said on the podcast Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums (via People). “Ever… ever. Did I say ever? Ever.”
Lauryn Hill faced a lawsuit after her first album came out
It’s hard to believe that a savvy studio would pass up what would surely have been a gold mine for them. Part of the decision to pass on a second album might have been because of the controversy that broke out after The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released. Per NPR, several of Hill’s collaborators on the album filed a lawsuit against her, alleging that they didn’t receive proper credit.
The lawsuit was settled out of court, but the incident still damaged Hill’s reputation and also exposed her to an ugly side of the music industry. Hill alluded to the aftermath on the podcast, revealing that it was a difficult time for her.
“People had included me in their own narratives of their successes as it pertained to my album and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy,” she said. “After The Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations, and saboteurs everywhere.”
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