Lauryn Hill Releases First Solo Album

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is the debut solo album by American musician Lauryn Hill, released August 25, 1998, on Columbia Records.

Recording sessions for the album took place from late 1997, to June 1998, and were held mostly at Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica. The album's lyrics deal with Hill's pregnancy at the time, the turmoil in her former group the Fugees, and also love and God, while it incorporates musical elements of R&B, hip hop, soul, reggae, and gospel. The album's title was inspired by the film and autobiographical novel The Education of Sonny Carson, and Carter G. Woodson's The Mis-Education of the Negro.

Upon its release, 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 at the time of its release. The album spawned several hit singles, which helped it achieve worldwide commercial success. In 1999, the album garnered ten Grammy nominations at the 41st Grammy Awards, winning five, making Hill the first female recording artist to receive that amount of nominations, as well as awards in one night. As of 2010, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has sold more than 8 million copies in the United States alone.

Following its initial reception, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has perpetuated its acclaim from most music critics and publications, and has been widely recognized as a crucial and influential component of the neo soul sub-genre. The album has appeared on numerous accolades, with many regarding it as one of the greatest albums of the 1990s, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 2003, it was ranked number 312 on Rolling Stone magazine's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Lauryn Hill has reached a new peak.

The 23-year-old singer on Wednesday took home five Grammys -- a record for a woman -- as the Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences celebrated the best in the music business.

Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," her debut solo effort, won Grammys for album of the year (the first time a hip-hop artist has won this category), best new artist, best female R&B vocal performance, best R&B song, and best R&B album.

"Wow, this is so amazing," Hill said. "I thank God. This is crazy because this is hip-hop music."

Hill's victory highlighted another Grammy year of the woman, dominated by song divas in several categories.