Lauryn Noelle Hill was born in East Orange, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby South Orange. From an early age, Lauryn was fascinated by music. Her father, a computer consultant, and her mother, a teacher, were both musical, and her older brother, Malaney, played a number of instruments. The young Lauryn Hill enjoyed school, sports and other activities, but music was an exceptional passion. She spent hours on end listening to records in her room, absorbing the classic soul music of the ’60s and ’70s. She performed at every opportunity; at age 13 she appeared as a contestant on Showtime at the Apollo. With the support of her parents, she pursued singing and acting professionally in her early teens, appearing on local television and auditioning for film roles in nearby New York City.In high school she met two young immigrants from Haiti, Pras Michel and Wyclef Jean, who invited her to join the hip hop group they were forming called the Fugees (short for refugees). Lauryn became one of the group’s songwriters, as well as a rapper and vocalist. The Fugees performed around the New York area while submitting demo recordings to the major record companies.