wyclef jean (purpose cover)*In a revelation-filled memoir that touches on the universal themes of poverty, immigration, religion, father/son relationships, and the heights of celebrity, one of music’s most talented and innovated artists Wyclef Jean provides a candid and deeply personal look at his life and career in a revealing and powerful new memoir, PURPOSE: An Immigrant’s Story, written with Anthony Bozza (It Books; September 18, 2012; Hardcover $26.99).

The son of a pastor and grandson of a Voudu priest, Wyclef was born and raised in the slums of Haiti, until his family moved to New York when he was nine. As immigrants they struggled in Brooklyn then eventually moved to Newark, where his father converted a burnt down funeral parlour into a home and a church. In PURPOSE, Wyclef discusses candidly his experiences as an outsider and serving as a literal and cultural translator for his parents.

Wyclef himself struggled with his English but in high school found the perfect way to learn it: by rapping. As with the movie 8 Mile, he would have rap battles and slowly became the #1 rapper at school. Meanwhile, he began to sing in his father’s choir at church and learned accompanying musical instruments—the guitar, piano, cello—an experience that would forever shape his sound, along with his interest in hip hop, rock, jazz. But Wyclef’s father hated rap and nearly disowned his son when he refused to attend theological school in favor of pursuing a life in music. They had an uneasy relationship until 2001, when his father finally saw him play live, attending Wyclef’s concert at Carnegie Hall. To Wyclef’s shock, his father died eight months later.

And here, for the first time ever, in PURPOSE, Wyclef gives the inside story of the critically acclaimed hip hop group The Fugees—whose success catapulted him to international renown. Comprised of Lauryn Hill, Pras, and Wyclef, the group recorded two albums, including The Score (1996), which was a multi-platinum and Grammy-winning success, and remains one of the bestselling hip hop albums of all time.

He also discusses with compelling candor the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010; his personal efforts and commitment to helping rebuild his homeland; the founding of the aid organization Yéle and the controversy that has surrounded it; as well as his own exploratory bid for president of the island nation. Wyclef continues to be a major voice in the hip hop and reggae music scenes. Now for the first time, he tells his incredible story, filled with drama, humor, and inspiration in the powerful new book, PURPOSE.


Author Tour Events for PURPOSE:
Tuesday, Sept. 18 | New York, NY | 12:30 – 2:30 PM
Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue

Wednesday, Sept. 19 | Baltimore, MD | 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins

Thursday, Sept. 20 | Washington, DC| 7:30 – 9:30 PM
Sixth & I

Friday, Sept. 21 | Atlanta, GA | 7:30 – 9:30 PM
Shrine of the Black Madonna

Sunday, Sept. 23 | Los Angeles, CA| 8:00 – 9:30 PM
Live Talks: LA, Aero Theatre Santa Monica

Monday, Sept. 24 | San Francisco, CA| 7:30 – 9:30 PM
City Arts & Lectures, Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Thursday, Sept. 27 | Tampa, FL| 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church with Inkwood Books

Friday, Sept. 28 | Miami, FL| 7:30 – 9:00 PM
Miami Dade College with Books & Books

Sunday, Sept. 30 | New York, NY | 7:30 – 9:00 PM

Monday, Oct. 1 | Philadelphia, PA | 7:30 – 9:00 PM
Free Library of Philadelphia

Wednesday, Oct. 3 | Detroit, MI | 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Shrine of the Black Madonna

Friday, Oct. 26 | New York, NY | 6:00 PM
Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Weekend


About the Authors:
WYCLEF JEAN is a multi-platinum Haitian musician, actor, producer, and former member of the hip hop trio The Fugees. Wyclef has sold more than 50 million albums throughout his career, between his album sales with The Fugees, his collaborative works, and his solo work. He has collaborated with such artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Santana, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, T.I., Mary J. Blige, and Destiny’s Child. Follow him on Twitter @Wyclef, on Facebook: www.facebook.com/wyclef And online:  http://youritlist.com/purpose/purpose.html

ANTHONY BOZZA is the bestselling author of seven books, including the autobiographies of Slash, Tommy Lee, Artie Lange, and Tracy Morgan. Bozza has both the ear and the trust of rock and pop culture royalty. He is currently publishing up-and-coming authors and cutting edge nonfiction via his Igniter Literary Group, an imprint of Harper Collins’ It Books. Bozza lives in New York City with his wife, Shane, and their dog, Floyd.



Gilda Squire Media Relations
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