Hill and high school classmate Pras Michel performed together under the name Tranzlator Crew and were joined by Michel’s cousin Wyclef Jean. Hill also acted on the television soap opera As the World Turns and alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. The money she earned from her acting jobs, she helped finance her group, renamed the Fugees in 1993. They were later signed to Columbia Records.
The Fugees debut album, Blunted on Reality received less than stellar reviews. Industry giants felt that Hill overshadowed her partners and that she should strike out on her own. The group’s second album, The Score featured a remake of Roberta Flack’s 1973 hit “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” selling more than 17 million copies and earning two Grammy Awards. Hill, who had been pursuing a degree in history at Columbia University, abandoned her studies, and the group’s members decided to pursue their individual interests.
Lauryn Hill’s sound, was often categorized as “neo-soul,” bridged hip-hop and mainstream popular music. Her debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 422,624 copies in its first week, which broke a record for first week sales by a female artist. The album spent 81 weeks on the Billboard 200 and topped the Billboard Year-End Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album earned Lauryn Hill ten Grammy nominations at the 41st Grammy Awards, winning five, making Hill the first female recording artist to receive that number of nominations.