Lauryn Hill was the first woman to be nominated in ten categories at the Grammy Awards. Consequently, she's the first woman to take home five. Mother of six and author (some say co-author), of one of the most brilliant compositions ever created,Lauryn Hill still remains a mystery.

The wrong men

She's fallen for the wrong men, and one of them was married. She later attacked him through her music. Another one, she claimed to marry though the possibility still exists that he was never actually divorced. Both claimed they never left each other spiritually.

Her greatest success

Hill has given us her "Miseducation..

." (a combination of its influences: The Education of Sonny Carson and The Mis-education of the Negro). That was seen as her greatest success. She followed with MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. That one was afailure. She's reinvigorated the careers of legends such as Aretha Franklin, and she's introduced us to future stars (John Legend).

Triumph and torture

Her path is one of triumph and torture. She's turned down roles in the Matrix Sequels, appeared in an independent film, and lent her voice to different projects during her absences. There was her narration of "Concerning Violence" and there was "The Passion". A single here -- a soundtrack there but still no album.

Warpaths and battles

Lauryn Hill hasgone to war with Catholic priests.

She claimed the intrusion on her privacy was for no other reason than to punish her for her individuality. She even battled her hometown for using her home as a recording studio with no permit to do so. She's changed, reinvented herself and transformed back into what we admired about her. She's passed out on stage, refused refunds, and been both cheered and booed at sporadic appearances over the last decade: Still no album.

A taste of what could have been

Fans resigned themselves to the fact that there wouldn't be an album. Then it happened. They were promised two songs on a Nina Simone documentary and they were given six. Finally, fans were given a taste of what could have been. Her voice, though still recognizable, had long lost its distinctness.

The raspy quality that fans had long loved had been replaced with one that sounded more like fatigue, but it didn't matter. What mattered was it was her.

Fans willl be forever robbed of what might have been due to the fact that "Ms. Hill" (or "Empress" or whatever her desired moniker became) was troubled by her inferiority complex, her need to be loved, her desire to be understood, her frustration that it never happened, her anger at her audience and its' transformation from being entertained by substance to being enamored by flash and the lack of substance.

The Misunderstanding

Lauryn Hill is and always will be the unfinished, unflinching presentation of the ideas of a person: one who never quite reached her potential or maybe peaked way too early.

Either way, fans will always love her. Had she been any different she wouldn't have held the same place in their hearts for so long.

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