Lauryn Hill Reunites With The Fugees For Surprise Performance at Roots Picnic 2023
Lauryn Hill and The Fugees may have canceled their highly anticipated reunion tour last year, but that didn’t stop the former group members from hitting the stage together at the 2023 Roots Picnic this weekend. Hill, who served as the festival’s June 3 headliner, surprised audience members that evening when she brought out her bandmates for a brief performance of some of their greatest hits.
Per Variety, the trio – made up of Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras Michél – treated the Roots Picnic crowd to rhythms and rhymes from their 1996 Grammy-winning sophomore album, “The Score,” starting with the title track plus other songs like “How Many Mics,” “Zealots,” “Ready or Not,” and “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” They ended their six-song set-within-a-set with a grand finale of “Fu-Gee-La.”
The group’s surprise reunion at Roots Picnic marks the first time all three have performed together since calling off their planned world tour in January 2022, which was meant to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “The Score.” “We anticipate and understand disappointment but our anniversary tour will not be able to happen,” the group wrote in an Instagram statement at the time, adding that, “The continued COVID pandemic has made touring conditions difficult.”
Prior to the cancellation, The Fugees hit the stage in September 2021 for a one-night-only show for Global Citizen Live in New York City, their first reunion in 15 years. Then, for the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture, Hill and Jean performed a medley of their group’s hits (sans Michél).
The group’s latest reunion not only comes as a surprise for fans but also a shock considering Michél was found guilty in an international conspiracy trial back in April. According to The New York Times, he was accused of orchestrating an international conspiracy spanning two presidencies and charged with 10 criminal counts – including money laundering, illegal lobbying, witness tampering, and campaign finance violations. The rapper (real name Prakazrel Michel) faces a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Hill, meanwhile, has been keeping busy with a few more solo festival appearances, most recently the 2023 Strength of a Woman Festival. She’s also set to headline the upcoming Essence Festival (June 30-July 2) – honoring the 25th anniversary of her debut album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” – alongside performers like Missy Elliott and Megan Thee Stallion.
See photos of her reunion performance with The Fugees at the Roots Picnic ahead.