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Lauryn Hill Makes Triumphant Return at Rock the Bells

Matthew Simmons, WireImage

Lauryn Hill made a triumphant comeback at this year’s Rock the Bells concert in San Bernardino, Calif. on Saturday (August 21). Seemingly unfazed by the sweltering 100 degree heat, Hill took to the stage wearing a knit cap, jacket and tights, and launched into her hit ‘Lost Ones.’ During her hour-long set, Hill performed songs like ‘Doo Wop (That Thing),’ ‘When It Hurts So Bad,’ ‘Ex-Factor,’ and the reggae-tinged ‘Forgive Them Father’ from her 8x platinum 1998 solo album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.’ Despite only having one solo album to her name, Hill rounded things out by belting out Fugees tracks like ‘Ready or Not’ and ‘Fu-Gee-La.’

Upon transitioning into ‘To Zion‘ — written about her oldest child — Hill reminisced with the audience. “It was 13-years ago when I wrote this song,” she said. “Zion is 13-years-old [as of] August 3.” Hill, who gave birth to her son at the height of her career, noted that the experience was as rewarding but still a “difficult journey.” Despite her success, Hill has been out of the public eye for several years, only making spot appearance and performances here and there. Many times these concerts have been met with criticism, pegging Hill as inconsistent and borderline erratic. However, Saturday’s set proved otherwise. “The support system that I needed was not necessarily in place,” she said of her self-imposed exile, in an interview with NPR. “There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it.”

Last month a previously unreleased track from the singer, titled ‘Repercussions,’ found its way to the Net. The song debuted on the Billboard charts at No. 94, giving Hill her first solo track to land on the charts in 12 years. Her acceptance of a slot on the Rock the Bells tour only further increases speculation that the 35-year-old is making a comeback. Although she was undoubtedly the most anticipated name on the Rock the Bells bill, the concert hosted a slue of other hip-hop acts including Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, and Snoop Dogg who headlined the show.

Lauryn Hill performing ‘Ready or Not’

Lauryn Hill performing ‘To Zion’

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