Ms. Lauryn Hill is one of the most widely celebrated musicians of all time, an impressive feat for an artist who only ever released one solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Before she released the iconic album, though, she was part of the equally iconic Fugees. The New Jersey–based group founded by Ms. Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras, would release two studio albums and a collection of remixes, including the Grammy Award–winning album The Score.
On both The Score and their debut, Blunted on Reality, Ms. Hill was a standout, from her bars on “Vocab” to her rendition of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” to her ill rhymes on “Ready or Not.” The success led Hill to release her solo effort, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
The project, which effortlessly blends Ms. Hill’s powerful voice with her sophisticated and unpredictable rhymes, would bring a series of brilliant singles like “Everything is Everything” and “Doo Wop (That Thing).” It would go on to win five Grammy Awards, making her the first woman to achieve that feat. Although Ms. Hill has yet to release another full-length, she’s released a series of loose singles, collaborated with other artists, and shared intimate raw songs accompanied only by a guitar for her 2002 MTV Unplugged album.
Ms. Hill’s work has taken on new forms, too, including being sampled in hit songs like Kanye West’s “All Falls Down” and Method Man’s “Say.” She also penned Aretha Franklin’s hit song “A Rose is Still a Rose” and Mary J. Blige’s “All That I Can Say.” Most recently, of course, her music has been sampled in Drake’s smash hit “Nice For What” and Cardi B’s “Be Careful,” which speaks to her continued impact. In honor of the 20th anniversary of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, these are the best songs by Ms. Lauryn Hill.