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CNN Showbiz Today's Jim Moret interviews Lauryn Hill
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Crossover Hill? 'I consider myself an artist'

Web posted on:
Thursday, February 25, 1999 4:59:47 PM EST

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Lauryn Hill was judged better than the others in a quintet of categories Wednesday night during the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, taking home the prize for best new artist and album of the year, as well as three R&B awards. It was the most Grammys ever won by a woman, beating Carole King's four Grammys for her "Tapestry" album in 1971.

Hill wasn't praised by Grammy voters alone. Eight-time Grammy winner Natalie Cole and fellow winner Sheryl Crow also had good things to say about her work: Crow said that "I want Lauryn Hill to produce my next record," while Cole told Hill to get used to the spotlight.

"I think that Lauryn is representing herself in such a way that she has made herself a role model without even trying," Cole said. "She has composed things that have come from her heart. She is going to do very well."

Celebrity nothing new

While celebrity is nothing new to the former Fugee, whose single "Doo Wop (That Thing)" from her debut solo album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," has been topping Billboard charts for months, the industry accolades were nonetheless special to her, she told CNN Showbiz Today anchor Jim Moret after the awards ceremony.

HILL: I would like to think that they were able to relate to everything I spoke about -- I was very honest, very personal and I just meant it with all my heart and soul. I think that the world is so universal that when you hear these things, you relate.


"Doo Wop (That Thing)"
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"Lost Ones"
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"Nothing Even Matters"
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"Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You"
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(Sound courtesy Ruffhouse/Columbia)

Q: Yours was clearly a positive message -- you touched young people, you touched older people. Where were you speaking from?

HILL: From the old young person that I am. (Laughs.) From the heart, you know, from the heart and speaking to anyone who would hear it.

Q: Do you consider yourself a crossover artist?

HILL: I consider myself an artist, you know what I mean, I think that art is so relative that everybody can grab a piece of it.

Q: Best new artist is an achievement, but it didn't stop there. ... How long before it sinks in?

HILL: I don't know yet but I'll let you know. I'm still kind of dazed.

Q: Do you think you met the high expectations?

HILL: I don't put expectations on myself, you know what I mean? I really just follow God's lead and let him move my life, and do what He thinks is necessary. I make music for the heart, and tomorrow it could be something different.

Q: Who do you count among your personal influences and teachers?

HILL: I don't remember my life without music, I don't remember my life without hip-hop music, I don't remember my life without soul music, and it was all very inspirational. I had teachers that don't even know about it -- Stevie Wonder was a teacher and didn't know it, Curtis Mayfield, Roberta Flack. So many.

That thing: Lauryn Hill sets Grammy record
February 24, 1999
Grammys high on Hill
January 5, 1999

Official Lauryn Hill site
Official Grammy site
The Recording Academy
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