Lauryn Hill Launches Label with Sony, Addresses Financial Troubles

Lauryn Hill

Earlier this week, it was reported that Lauryn Hill had signed a new record deal to help pay off some of her tax debt. The former Fugees frontwoman, who is facing jail time, is now sharing more details surrounding the agreement. As part of the lucrative deal, she will launch her own label with Sony and release new music there.

“I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released. And yes, I am working on new music,” the mother of six writes in an open letter.

The deal was reported to be worth $1 million dollars, but she says those figures are incorrect. “The nature of my new business venture, as well as the dollar amount reported, was inaccurate, only a portion of the overall deal,” she explains.

The 37-year-old singer attributes her current financial position to “a completely complicated set of traps, manipulations, and inequitable business arrangements.” It was reported that she owes $968,000 in back taxes, but her lawyer is confident that she will pay off the debt prior to her sentencing on May 6.

Read Ms. Hill’s letter below.

It has been reported that I signed a new record deal, and that I did this to pay taxes. Yes, I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released. And yes, I am working on new music.

I’ve remained silent, after an extensive healing process. This has been a 10+ year battle, for a long time played out behind closed doors, but now in front of the public eye. This is an old conflict between art and commerce… free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure. This is about inequity, and the resulting disenfranchisement caused by it. I’ve been fighting for existential and economic freedom, which means the freedom to create and live without someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings.

It took years for me to get out of the ‘parasitic’ dynamic of my youth, and into a deal that better reflects my true contribution as an artist, and (purportedly) gives me the control necessary to create a paradigm suitable for my needs. I have been working towards this for a long time, not just because of my current legal situation, but because I am an artist, I love to create, and I need the proper platform to do so.

The nature of my new business venture, as well as the dollar amount reported, was inaccurate, only a portion of the overall deal. Keep in mind, my past recordings have sold over 50,000,000 units worldwide, earning the label a tremendous amount of money (a fraction of which actually came to me).

Only a completely complicated set of traps, manipulations, and inequitable business arrangements could put someone who has accomplished the things that I have, financially in need of anything. I am one artist who finds value in openly discussing the dynamics within this industry that force artists to compromise or distort themselves and what they do, rather than allowing them to make the music that people need. There are volumes that could (and will) be said.

MLH



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26 Comments

  1. Good Stuff

    Lauryn stop Ur mess right damn now. Make the music, pay your taxes , and raise your kids..

    [Reply]

    amina Reply:

    @Good Stuff, You don’t understand she’s not a pop star…she will pay her taxes don’t worry but don’t think she will be quiet she’s the mother of six and i think she knows whats she doing.

    [Reply]

    Coolah Reply:

    @Good Stuff, ur a complete idiot…

    [Reply]

  2. THEDON

    Can’t wait for this.. New Lauryn Hill music on the way, oh yeahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  3. Gob1in

    Sounds to me like she just ‘sold her soul’. Sony covers all her legal woes and she must honour whatever she signed by being their puppet.

    [Reply]

    mon88 Reply:

    @Gob1in, you are correct she was basically forced by the judge to sign with sony or go to jail

    [Reply]

    WELL Reply:

    @Gob1in,

    Did she really tho? Lucrative deal where with own label?

    If you know anything about the music industry you would know that Lauryn is the one actually winning… She has control of her own Music under he own label and own rules.. and Sony basically is the cash machine all behind it. So dont count her out as selling her soul yet.

    [Reply]

    Sir Mike Reply:

    @WELL, I hope that she realize that it is a business. She need to focus on centering herself and making good music.

    [Reply]

  4. QB

    she has a point, open ur minds! her label manipulated her into giving away all her royalties and thats why shes broke. They also tried to manipulate the content of her music and thats why she fought back. but at the end of the day, when its a label (with top of the notch lawyers) vs a person..who do you think will win. Shes been fighting for 10 years silently. Hopefully her new label gives her a platform to tell her story.

    [Reply]

    Wow Reply:

    @QB, regardless if that’s the case or not……SHE STILL NEEDS TO PAY HER TAXES!!!

    [Reply]

  5. Sharlyn

    new music? NEW MUSIC???? Jesus heard me?

    [Reply]

  6. DRB

    Thank you IRS. Lauryn, Mariah. I am goooood!!!

    [Reply]

  7. alnisa

    i love you just come out & do the things tht you love to do you as well as for us ur fans!

    [Reply]

  8. OVODRAKE

    LEAVE HER ALONE !!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  9. Mrunhateable

    I’m excited for new music but with her new mind frame I doubt it will be anything like the miseducation of lauryn hill. She’ll prolly give us some ultra peachy crazy ass album with African drums. Or it will sound like that lauryn hill unplugged mess she gave us in 2002. I hope I’m wrong

    [Reply]

    Tribal Drums Reply:

    @Mrunhateable, dying laughing at “crazy ass album with African Drum” it’s true though who knows what she’ll give us. I’m interested to see

    [Reply]

  10. @AveryVenture

    bitch! pay yo taxes like everybody got damn else!

    [Reply]

    Wow Reply:

    @@AveryVenture, THANK YOU! All this other crap she’s talking about is irrelevant. Pay your taxes. Period!

    [Reply]

  11. Chicago

    Some of yall so messy you couldn’t even begin to comphrend what she said..never was about the money. So much stuff go on behind the scenes

    [Reply]

  12. Pereezy YMCMB.MMG

    Broke H**s,That’s that s**t record Labels Like like to make them their puppet. F**k Lauryn or whatever her name is.

    [Reply]

    Asia A. Reply:

    @Pereezy YMCMB.MMG, Learn to have respect & in the process try not to show your ignorance so easily.

    [Reply]

  13. William Holder

    The sentencing has already been delayed multiple times, the better part of a year, as she toured the world but she has yet to pay back any significant money. She should have received the maximum penalty and thrown in jail last summer instead of making a fool of the judge and a joke out of our revenue and legal system.

    [Reply]

  14. BEYDAZZLED

    LMAO AT Y’ALL MAKING EXCUSES FOR THIS CRAZY BITCH. SHE IS NOT EXEMPT FROM PAYING TAXES. LOCK HER CRAZY ASS UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!!!

    [Reply]

  15. flawda

    Lauryn Hill is just a crazy bitch, i think we’ve come to realize Wyclef was right about her.

    As for the music business side, all artist compromise at some point. You think these labels are gonna pump 100′s of thousands of dollars in your career and not have some say. The key is to build up equity in yourself as a artist and you will have more control and do what you want to do (see Beyonce, Jay-z, Dr Dre, Outkast,etc).

    [Reply]

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