Armed only by a guitar, R&B star Lauryn Hill recently taped a performance for MTV’s revived “Unplugged” series, recording entirely new songs from her as-yet-untitled sophomore effort for Columbia. An airdate for Hill’s segment has yet to be announced, but the series returns Aug. 9 on MTV2 with an unplugged performance from R.E.M. MTV will run the shows after they have premiered on MTV2.
“There’s a great groundswell of affection or this classic series and musically its seems there’s an emergence of many new powerful singers and songwriters that could do the format justice,” says Brian Graden, president of programming for MTV and MTV2. “Moreover, our relaunch of MTV2 is winning raves among music purists and music fans. When you take all this together it just seemed the perfect combo and an idea whose time was right.”
Future episodes of the show will feature Staind and Shakira. Meanwhile, Hill will perform at the July 29 Aftershock benefit in San Jose, Calif., alongside Marc Anthony, Luther Vandross, and others. Proceeds from the event will benefit earthquake victims in El Salvador and India.