Lauryn Hill Sets the Record Straight on her Finances, Admits New Music is in the Pipeline
Lauryn Hill has broken her silence on that whopping tax bill, her reported new contract with Sony Music and the new tunes she’s working on.
The ex-Fugee has posted a 353-word missive on her Tumblr page, in which she admits much of the media ruckus on her complicated set of affairs is mostly accurate. Mostly, but not all of it.
“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,” she writes. “And yes, I am working on new music.”
There’s no more information on her new music. But if and when it arrives, it should represent an artist who has fought long and hard. “I’ve remained silent, after an extensive healing process,” she adds. “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.”
A federal court judge recently postponed Lauryn Hill's tax evasion sentencing, but not before scolded the eight-time Grammy-winning singer for reneging on a promise to make restitution by now.
Hill pleaded guilty last year to not paying federal taxes on $1.8 million earned from 2005 to 2007. On Monday (Apr. 22), the judge Madeline Cox postponed sentencing, giving her until May 6 to pay off her liability, which now stands at $504,000 after Hill made a payment of $50,000 late last year.
In her carefully-worded comment, Hill explains that the nature of her new business venture, and the dollar amount reported – widely suggested at $1 million for five songs – “was inaccurate, only a portion of the overall deal.”
There’s also the not-so-trifling matter of her career album sales -- a figure she places at 50 million units sold worldwide. According to Hill, her career has earned “the label a tremendous amount of money (a fraction of which actually came to me).” Hill's sole studio album, 1998’s "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," sold more than 8 million copies in the United States alone, according to the RIAA.
She signs off on her letter with the initials MLH – Ms Lauryn Hill.
It remains to be seen if Hill’s words will sway the judge in her tax evasion case. "This is not someone who stands before the court penniless," Judge Cox said during Monday's proceedings. "Actions speak louder than words."