Before the Internet and social media like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, it was not easy to make a name in the music industry, no matter how talented you are. But there are some who, besides having the talents, worked hard to pursue their dreams. This reason is why Wyclef Jean’s net worth, life, and career are a part of a larger story he has to share with the world with his decades-spanning musical career.
So, if you are a fan or want to know more about the man behind the name and the music, you should read on to find out more about him.
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From Immigrant To A Musical Legend
Wyclef Jean’s net worth is at $10 million, which is not surprising since he has been active in his musical career since he settled down in the USA. Since then, he has also pursued many other ventures outside of it, including acting and writing.
Wyclef Jean’s career has also collaborated with big names that elevated his status and notoriety in the music industry. His collaborators include Lauryn Hill, Shakira, Eve, Timbaland, and Norah Jones.
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Wyclef Jean’s Early Life
On October 17, 1969, Wyclef Jean was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, and he was named by his parents Gesner and Yolanda Jean after English scholastic philosopher, priest, seminary professor, and biblical scholar John Wycliffe. So, yes, for those who have only read his name and haven’t heard how people pronounce his last name, it’s supposed to sound like you’re saying “John” and not “jeen” as if you’re pronouncing it how French people would.
When Wyclef Jean was nine years old, he moved to the United States with his family. They first lived in Brooklyn, New York, then to East Orange, New Jersey, until they eventually settled down in Newark.
His passion for making music started at a young age and fully blossomed in this new life in a country. When he was a teenager, his family recognized his musical talent, and his mother eventually gifted him a guitar. In many of his interviews, he credited musicians like Bigga Haitian, MC Tiger Paw Raw, and Lobster v. Crab as some of his early influences.
Wyclef Jean eventually graduated from Vailsburg High School in Newark and then decided to earn a diploma by attending Five Towns College in New York. He also began studying music at Berklee College of Music in 2009 and graduated a year after that.
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Wyclef Jean’s Career – The Hit Maker
From The 1980s To The 2000s
In the 1980s, Wyclef Jean and a group of musicians, including Pras Michel, with who he got acquainted, decided to start their musical act and called it Translator Crew. In 1993, they renamed their act to the iconic hip-hop group Fugees to reference the word “refugees”. In these same bands, he also met a then-newbie in the industry, Lauryn Hill, who he dated from 1992 until the group disbanded in 1997. But during the height of the band’s career, they were able to release two studio albums, one compilation album, one remix album, and nine singles with accompanying music videos, which earned them critical acclaim and two Grammy awards.
In 1997, Wyclef Jean’s solo career started with his debut album Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars, where some of his ex-bandmates were guest musicians. That same year, he collaborated with many artists, including Celia Cruz. Since that fateful collaboration, Celia Cruz’s net worth has grown to become $1 million.
In 2000, he released his second solo album, The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, with guests including Kenny Rogers; The Rock; and Mary J. Blige. His sophomore effort received an MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Hip-Hop Act.
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From 2002 To Present
From 2002 to 2004, Wyclef Jean managed to release his creative juices and turn them into songs resulting in him releasing an album every year called Masquerade, The Preacher’s Son, Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haïti (Creole 101). His solo career was on a hiatus for a Fugees reunion record that didn’t see the light of day due to some creative and personal differences with his former bandmates.
Fortunately, he bagged a collaboration with Shakira in her hit song Hips Don’t Lie, one of the highest-selling singles of that year and the 21st century.
In 2007, besides scoring Angelina Jolie’s documentary A Place in Time, Wyclef Jean also released his sixth studio album Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant with guests Norah Jones, Akon, Shakira, and more. Two years later, he also released 2009’s From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion with more guests like Eve, Timbaland, Lil’ Kim, and Cyndi Lauper. After a long hiatus for several reasons, including him focusing on his other musical ventures, he released his eighth and ninth studio albums in 2017 and 2019 called Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee and Wyclef Goes Back to School Volume 1. Of course, Wyclef Jean’s net worth continued growing after these projects.
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Other Ventures – Businessman With Golden Heart
Besides being a rapper, Wyclef Jean has also created music as a producer and songwriter. He has received many accolades from the Grammys to the Golden Globes during his career spanning more than three decades. Yes, he has received Golden Globes nominations for his original song, Hotel Rwanda. But he should have gotten some awards for his acting, as well, as he has made notable appearances and awards-worthy performances in several TV shows and films like Black November, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and more.
Wyclef Jean has published the memoir Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story outside of his musical and acting career. He detailed his life growing up as a poor Haitian until he immigrated to the United States. His plight caused him to start his charitable organization called the Wyclef Jean Foundation in 2001, where he helped Haitian citizens by providing them with school funding, meals, scholarships, and more. This act seems like a perfect place to put Wyclef Jean’s net worth on.
Wyclef Jean is also interested in politics and even ran for Haiti’s president in 2010, which Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council rejected as he did not meet one of the requirements for the position. Not qualifying for the position didn’t stop him from his political aspirations, and he supported another musician Michel Martelly, which allowed him to win as the president in 2011. Michel Martelly’s net worth is now $5 million.
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After Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean’s relationship ended, he married Marie Claudinette, a designer, in 1994. The pair adopted a daughter in 2005, who they named Angelina Claudinelle Jean, was adopted in 2005. In August 2009, the couple renewed their vows, and according to them, their marriage is stronger than ever.
We Need More Wyclef Jeans In The World
Growing up in a poverty-stricken country would make any individual lose hope, but thankfully, Wyclef Jean didn’t. Now, he’s one of the most iconic names in music, and he hasn’t forgotten about his past as he still sings about it in his music and using his status to help those in need. Surely, Wyclef Jean’s net worth is being put to good use with his activism.