If you've been wondering where Lauryn Hill has been for the past decade or so, you're not the only one. The singer, who made gestures toward a comeback when she resurfaced on the live circuit in 2010, has been in trouble with the IRS, pleading guilty to tax evasion for failing to file her taxes between 2005 and 2007. Facing a possible three years in jail and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, HIll has avoided jail time after signing a deal worth a reported $1 million with Sony.
During the three-year period, Hill earned an estimated $1.8million between her music and film royalties. Having avoided the tax man, the singer is now on the hook for those taxes, with some frightening penalties: each count of tax evasion holds a maximum penalty of one year in jail as well as a $100,000 fine. According to AllHipHop, Hill has been given until May 6 to make progress on payments – and her Sony deal will aid in making good on them.
As part of the record deal, Lauryn will write and record five new songs and will be issued an advance to record a new studio album.
Hill has previously addressed her troubles on her Tumblr account, in a rambling post explaining that she "left a more mainstream and public life" during her several years of absence to remove herself "from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it".
Citing the "safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns," Hill attempted to justify her actions by explaining that she "conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period".
Hill's 1998 solo debut, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, won five Grammy Awards and sold an estimated 15 million copies worldwide. We've been waiting for more greatness from the former Fugees star, but thus far have seen little to measure up to her original promise.
Photo: Johnny Firecloud