Wyclef Jeanelle Jean (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 after much controversy.
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.