The first headliner for the 2020 Dubai Jazz Festival has been announced: American singer, songwriter and rapper Lauryn Hill will open the Media City festival.
The Everything is Everything singer will perform at the amphitheatre on Wednesday, February 26. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, November 6, at 8am.
The other two headliners have yet to be announced, but supporting Hill on the Wednesday will be Bruno Major, the British singer-songwriter who recently toured with Sam Smith.
Why Lauryn Hill is such a legend
Hill was one of the headliners at Glastonbury last year, and her seminal debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released 21 years ago.
Her best known songs remain Doo Wop, Ex-Factor and Everything is Everything.
Her first solo album remains one of the most influential hip-hop albums released, but Hill’s debut didn’t herald the sudden arrival of a new star. Instead, the album fulfilled the promise Hill made during her time with The Fugees. Alongside fellow members Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel, the trio were never really comfortable with the hip-hop tag. Due to their Caribbean music influences, The Fugees’ oeuvre was a gumbo of styles, with soul and funk as key ingredients.
With The Fugees breaking up in 1997, their eclecticism and socially conscious outlook can be felt in The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, released a year later – only this time, Hill was telling her own story.
Where The Fugees mostly surveyed the land from a macro level of social justice in song such as Fu-Gee-La and Ready Or Not, Hill's solo work looked at the world from the personal vantage points of a woman, mother, wife and member of a disenfranchised minority – it was a "Wakanda" moment for African-American women.
Like the blockbuster Black Panther, the power of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill lay in its aspirational qualities. Unlike most of her peers, Hill wasn't only keen to chronicle life as she saw it. In fact, she was more interested in what we could make of it.