Lauryn Hill is set to perform at the Bryce Jordan Center on May 4th at 7:30pm! Tickets go on sale to the public this Friday, March 21 at 10am at the Bryce Jordan Center, Eisenhower Auditorium, Penn State Downtown Theatre, Altoona Campus Ticket Outlet, online at Ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 800-745-3000. Reserved theatre seating is $47.50 for the public and $9.50 for University Park students.
Lauryn Hill has been labeled the mother of hip-hop invention with her 1998 solo debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The Fugees’ most vocal member not only established herself as creative force on her own, but also broke new ground by successfully integrating rap, soul, reggae, and R&B into her own sound.
Raised in South Orange, NJ, Hill spent her youth listening her parents’ multi-genre, multi-generational record collection. She began singing at an early age, and was soon snagging minor roles on television (As the World Turns) and in film (Sister Act II: Back in the Habit). Her on-again, off-again stint in the Fugees began at the age of 13, but was often interrupted by both the acting gigs and her enrollment at Columbia University. After developing a following in the tri-state area, the group’s first release — the much-hyped but uneven Blunted on Reality – did not do well nationally, almost causing a breakup. But with the multi-platinum The Score, the Fugees (and especially the camera-friendly Hill) achieved international success.
Hill wrote, arranged, or produced just about every track on Miseducation, which is steeped in her old-school background, both musically (the Motown-esque sing-along of “Doo Wop (That Thing)”) and lyrically (the nostalgic “Every Ghetto, Every City”). As Miseducation began a long reign on the charts through most of the fall and winter of 1998, Hill became a national media icon, as magazines ranging from Time to Esquire to Teen People vied to put her on the cover. By the end of the year, as the album topped virtually every major music critic’s best-of list, she was being credited for helping fully assimilate hip-hop into mainstream music. The momentum finally culminated at the February 1999 Grammy awards, during which Hill took home five trophies from her 11 nominations, including Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album; the most ever for a woman. Shortly after, she launched a highly praised national tour with Atlanta rappers, Outkast.
She continued shaping her solo career; the double-disc MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 appeared in spring 2002, before she disappeared, by her own choice, from the spotlight. Hill will be appearing this summer at Bonnaroo, Electric Forest Festival, and FloydFest, but her rare live appearance at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center this May 4th will be a pleasant surprise for her fans in the Northeast.