Wyclef Jean in 2008
|Birth name||Wyclef Jeanelle Jean|
|Also known as||Wyclef, Nel, Clef|
October 17, 1969 |
|Genres||Hip hop, Alternative Rock, Pop Rock|
|Occupations||Rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, actor|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, drums|
|Labels||Refugee La Republique Records|
|Associated acts||Fugees, Canibus, Akon, Lil Wayne, R. Kelly, Niia, The Rock, Mary J. Blige, Doug E. Fresh, Flo Rida, Shakira, Anastacia, T.I.|
Wyclef Jeanelle Jean (/ /; Haitian Creole pronunciation: [wajklɛf ʒã]; born October 17, 1969) 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.
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.
Early life and personal history 
Although his birth date was widely given as October 17, 1972, papers filed for his run as a candidate for the presidency of Haiti, disclosed that he was, in fact, born in 1969. Born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, the son of a Nazarene pastor, in 1982 Wyclef moved with his family to northern New Jersey. 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 in Newark, briefly attended Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts, 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.
His uncle – 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.
On March 19, 2011, Jean claimed that he was shot in the palm of his right hand in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The police reported otherwise saying that Wyclef was not wounded by a bullet but was cut by glass. Police Chief Vanel Lacroix said "we met with the doctor who saw him and he confirmed Wyclef was cut by glass."
Music career 
Fugees era 
Jean's musical breakthrough was as part of The Refugee Camp (The Fugees), a three-member group that included Lauryn Hill and Prakazrel "Pras" Michel. Jean is Pras's cousin and a fellow Haitian immigrant. The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records, which released the group's debut album, Blunted on Reality. It sold fairly well, peaking at No. 49 on the U.S. Hot 100 and selling over 2 million copies worldwide. The follow-up album – The Score – sold over 18 million copies worldwide, eventually becoming a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning album.
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). 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).
Solo career 
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. With Blige he released "911" as a single. He was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Act at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards.
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". Jean has produced hits and been featured in hit singles for Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige to name a few.
In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haïti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). Most of its songs are in his native language of Haitian Creole like "Fanm Kreyol" with the French Caribbean Admiral T. He also figured on the album Mozaik Kreyol of this one in the song "Secret Lover". 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.
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. With Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis, Jean also composed the score of the documentary Ghosts of Cité Soleil, He also 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.
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."
In 2006, Jean was featured in Shakira's smash hit Hips Don't Lie. The song went on to become the highest selling single of the 21st century, in addition to reaching number one in over fifty-five countries. Jean and Shakira went on to perform the song at the 2006 Grammys and the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.
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. 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 also 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".
On June 17, 2009, Wyclef announced via Twitter that his new album will be called wyclefjean and is to be released sometime in February 2010. The first single from wyclefjean is to be titled "Seventeen" and will feature Lil' Wayne.
Wyclef Jean's EP named From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion was released on November 10, 2009. 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.
Yéle Haiti 
In 2001, Jean established "Yéle Haiti" a charitable organization known legally as the Wyclef Jean Foundation and incorporated in the U.S. state of Illinois. The foundation became active in the aftermath of 2004's Hurricane Jeanne, when it provided scholarships to 3,600 children in Gonaïves, Haiti with funding from Comcel. It continued to provide scholarships, school funding, meals and other charitable benefits to citizens of Haiti in the following years. 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. 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. 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.
Between 2005 and 2012, Yéle Haiti has been managed by Rawal, co-founder and former chief executive Hugh Locke, Wyclef Jean (until he announced his candidacy in August 2010 for the presidency of Haiti) and former chief executive Derek Q. Johnson. 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." Johnson's resignation also came in the wake of an investigation by the New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, and the failure of settlement talks between the attorney general's office and the charity over allegations of mismanagement - including improper payments by the charity to Jean, members of his family and others connected to Jean. 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. The charity, which remains closed, is also the target of lawsuits in Haiti for unpaid debts.
Although Wyclef Jean has only been active in Haitian politics, he told Womens Wear Daily in 2011, "I am a huge fan of Sarah Palin". It was reported that Jean would be attending the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
2010 Haitian presidential campaign 
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. In an article written by Exclaim! magazine it was mentioned that Jean will be stepping down as the chairman of Yéle Haiti. 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. Wyclef would have run as a candidate for the Viv Ansanm (Live Together) political party.
- "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 20, 2010, his bid for candidacy was rejected by Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council. 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.||”|
Appearances in television and film 
- In 2002 Wyclef starred in the Jamaican crime film, Shottas as "Richie Effs", about two young men who participate in organized crime in Kingston, Jamaica and Miami, Florida.
- On a 2004 episode of Chappelle's Show, he appeared as the musical guest and played a remix of his song "President" from the 2004 album Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101
- He starred in Virgin Mobile commercials as himself.
- In 2005, he appeared in the film One Last Thing.... His character is a cab driver named Emmett Ducasse. It is implied he is an angel due to being in the main character's "Heaven". Wyclef also has an original track that is the closing credits first song. The song is "Heaven's in New York".
- Also in 2005, Wyclef appeared in 4 episodes of the hit NBC prime time television drama "Third Watch" as the recurring character, Marcel Hollis, a gang leader responsible for blowing up the police precinct house in the final episode of the series.
- In December 2007, starred in the four-part MTV exclusive online short-film Americlef
- May 20, 2008: At the Gansevoort Hotel, Wyclef Jean in partnership with the WFP and PADF launched "Together for Haiti" to address the hunger crisis in Haiti members of the American and international television and print media were invited to cover the news.
- October 17, 2011: The Apprentice (U.S. season 12) Episode 1: Hero Worship
- He appeared on the PBS show The Electric Company
- In 2012, he appears as Dominic "Domino" King, the head of a music label on the ABC series "Nashville"
- 1997: The Carnival (Columbia)
- 2000: The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (Columbia)
- 2002: Masquerade (Columbia)
- 2003: Greatest Hits (Columbia)
- 2003: The Preacher's Son (J)
- 2004: Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101 (Koch)
- 2006: Ghosts of Cité Soleil
- 2007: Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant (Columbia)
- 2009: From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion (Columbia)
- 2010: If I Were President: My Haitian Experience (Columbia)
- Wyclef Dumped From Haiti's Presidential Ballot – TIME, Aug 21, 2010.
"Before he announced on August 5 that he was running for President of Haiti, Wyclef Jean was still listing his age as only 37 years old. But after declaring himself a presidential candidate, the Haitian-American-Irish hip-hop star also decided to come clean and confirm that he was really 40."
- Wyclef Jean registers as Haiti presidential contender by Joseph Guyler Delva, Aug 6, 2010 (Reuters)
- Wyclef Jean to appeal against Haiti election ruling – BBC News, Aug 22, 2010.
Haiti's electoral commission said that Mr Jean was ineligible to stand as the Haitian constitution requires candidates to have lived in the country for five years prior to an election. The 40-year-old singer lives in the US.
- Star Pulse
- "Reggae Artists – Reggae Artists – Black Rat: Max Wayne". Bigupradio.com. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
- "N.J. resident Wyclef Jean is expected to announce run for Haiti president". The Star-Ledger. August 5, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- Kurczy, Stephen (August 5, 2010). "Wyclef Jean for Haiti president: Four challenges he'll face". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- Cruz, Alicia. "Did Wyclef Jean fake his gunshot injury in Haiti?", NewJerseyNewsroom.com, March 23, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. "Wyclef Jean, a North Caldwell resident, told media outlets a bullet grazed his hand in the hand as he stood outside of his vehicle to make a phone call late Sunday night. Jean, who was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, added that he did not know if the alleged gunshots were directed towards him."
- Century, Douglas (February 11, 2007), "Alpine, N.J., Home of Hip-Hop Royalty", The New York Times, retrieved 2008-02-16
- Bush, Allen (October 2, 2009). "Wyclef Jean Enrolls in Berklee". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- Fusha By Marie Claudinette Jean
- "Wyclef Jean – Wyclef And Wife Renew Vows – Contactmusic News". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
- "Wyclef Jean Appointed Haitian Goodwill Ambassador". XXLmag.com. October 19, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- "Wyclef Jean to be Haiti’s roving ambassador – Entertainment – Celebrities – TODAY Show". MSNBC. January 3, 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
- (French) [dead link]
- Osorio, Kim (March 22, 2011). "Police In Haiti Say Wyclef Was Not Shot". BET. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- "Wyclef Jean shot in hand in Haiti". CNN. March 20, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
- "Melky Sedeck Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- "MTV Europe Music Awards: The nominations". BBC News. October 2, 2000.
- Peisner, David (February 2007). "Rock Stars Who've Caught Fire Onstage!". Blender Magazine Online. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
- Ghosts Of Cité Soleil – Casting Info (2005)
- Film Journal International (June 27, 2007): Ghosts of Cité Soleil (review by Frank Lovece)
- Pras Goes Homeless On Film, Says Fugees CD Is 'Dead'
- Wyclef Jean interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' December 2008
- Lil Wayne Will Be Joining Wyclef Jean On His Next Single “Seventeen”
- "Wyclef: Leading The Revolution" by Han O'Connor (Allhiphop)
- Up for Discussion Jump to Forums (September 14, 2009). "Wyclef Revisits Hip-Hop Roots On 'Toussaint: St. Jean' EP". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- Jenna Wortham (January 15, 2010). "Burst of Mobile Giving via Cellphone Text Messages Adds Millions in Relief Funds". The New York Times.
- David Itzikoff (January 15, 2010). "Details of "Hope for Haiti" telethon are announced". New York Times.
- "Beyonce and Madonna Join Hope for Haiti Telethon". New York Times. January 21, 2010.
- STATEMENT BY WYCLEF JEAN ON HAITI EARTHQUAKE
- "Wyclef Jean Haiti Earthquake Appeal". 3threat Media. January 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- Deborah Sontag (October 11, 2012). "In Haiti, Little Can Be Found of a Hip-Hop Artists Charity". New York Times.
- Stephanie Strom (February 5, 2010). "Haitian Quake Brings More Money and Scrutiny to a Charity". New York Times.
- Matthew Perpetua (2011-09-15). "Wyclef Jean: I'm A Big Fan of Sarah Palin | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- McKay, Hollie. Hollywood bailing on President Obama and the Democratic National Convention, FOX News, August 24, 2012.
- "It's Official: Wyclef Jean Running for President of Haiti". Exclaim! August 5, 2010
- "Wyclef Jean to Run for President of Haiti?". UsMagazine.com.
- Up for Discussion Jump to Forums (September 14, 2009). "Wyclef Jean Mulling Run for President of Haiti". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- "Musician Wyclef Jean to run for Haiti president". British Broadcasting Corporation. August 4, 2010.
- "Wyclef Jean files election papers for Haiti presidency". BBC News. August 5, 2010.
- "Wyclef Jean files papers to stand for Haiti president". BBC News. August 6, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
- "Exclaim News: Arcade Fire’s Win Butler Adds Opposition to Wyclef Jean’s Haitian Presidential Plans". Exclaim!. March 3, 2004. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- "Haiti ruling ends Wyclef Jean's run for president". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2010-08-21.[dead link]
- "Wyclef Jean fighting to get name on Haiti presidential ballot". CNN. August 22, 2010.
- NICK SCHAGER (October 31, 2006). "FILM : MOVIE REVIEW : Shottas". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
- "Shottas (2 discs) – DVD". Sony Pictures. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- Partizan – Commercials – Doug Nichol
- MTV Online
- "MTV Act Blog". Think.mtv.com. February 9, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- "The Electric Company: Wyclef Jean Music Video: Electric City on Vimeo". Vimeo.com. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- Leffler, Rebecca (2006). "Inner City Blues". Filmmaker Magazine (ifp) (Fall 2006). Retrieved January 29, 2012.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (October 2012)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Wyclef Jean|
- Official website
- Wyclef Jean at the Internet Movie Database
- Yéle Haiti Foundation
- Sak Pasé Records (a record label founded by Wyclef)
- Haiti: Working Together at Last by Wyclef Jean, September 23, 2010
- New York Post article on mismanagement at Yéle Haiti Foundation
- Wyclef talking about Nation19.com / APDTA