70,000 Attend Fugees Haiti Concert

The Fugees triumphed in Haiti this past weekend. Photo of the Fugees performing at last summer's Tibetan Freedom Concert by Jay Blakesberg.

Multi-platinum rap stars the Fugees brought it all back

home this past Saturday (April 12) by playing an outdoor stadium show in front

of 70,000 fans In Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. The six-hour show featured the Fugees

performing hits from their breakthrough album, The Score--which has now

sold 14 million copies worldwide in addition to garnering them a Best Rap Album

Grammy in February--alongside local musicians. "We are going to show the world

just what Haiti can offer," singer/guitarist and native Haitian Wyclef Jean

told the crowd, according to a Reuters report. Both Jean and fellow

Fugee, Praz, were born in Haiti, while singer Lauryn Hill was born in the U.S.

to Haitian parents.

Proceeds from the concert are ear-marked to aid Haitian

refugees (the band's name is a foreshortened form of the word Refugees) to

repatriate from neighboring country, the Dominican Republic, where many

Haitians have been forced to relocate in order to look for work, which is rare

in their impoverished homeland. A local musician who shared the stage with the

group, Henry Robert Lourou, said of their decision to return home, "The Fugees

reached the top of the music industry in the United States and have come back

home to open the door for the rest of Haitian culture who, as a country deep in

poverty, normally wouldn't have this chance." Other artists on the bill

included Steven Marley (son of the late Bob Marley and frequent Fugee

collaborator), Dominican artist Janna, and Manno Charlegmane (mayor of

Port-Au-Prince and a popular folk singer).

Wyclef is currently wrapping up

work on an album by the Refugee All-Stars, which has been described as a solo

album featuring a number of Haitian artists, alongside guest spots from his

Fugees bandmates. No release date has been set yet for that collection.