Jailed for tax issues and banned from the UK: Lauryn Hill's bad luck

RnB/Hip Hop | Monday 20th July 2015 | Federica

Grammy-winning, former Fugees star Lauryn Hill posted an official apology to her UK fans on Facebook after having to cancel her London show: "I've been informed that I won't be able to enter the UK for a period of time due to my past legal situation" she wrote. "Know that I was looking forward to performing in London this summer, and that I appreciate all of my fans and supporters both in London, and throughout the UK. I look forward to seeing you again as soon as I'm able to."

Ms. Hill had troubles with US justice in 2013, when she was jailed for 3 months for tax evasion.

The singer is not the first American celebrity to have troubles with the IRS, but she has had the misfortune of being one of the very few on the list who actually ended up in jail. Millionaires such as Marc Anthony, Joe 'Girls Gone Wild' Francis, and Nicholas Cage failed to pay all the taxes they owed, but a quick deal was made between their lawyers and the judges. Big Boi's, Lauryn Hill's and Ronald Isley's lawyers weren't so lucky since their clients all ended up in prison. Stephen Baldwin and Wesley Snipes were charged with very similar felonies, but while Baldwin pleaded guilty and obtained a very convenient deal, in which he avoided jail, Snipes was not as fortunate. 

A few of the aforementioned have even been banned from the UK for their IRS troubles, just like Lauryn Hill. The general grounds for refusing entry to non-UK citizens include criminal history and fraud, and whether that person poses a threat to national security. Whilst some righteous banning has been made - Mike Tyson for his rape conviction, and Chris Brown for his conviction of injury to his former girlfriend Rihanna - some other celebrities are still allowed in the country despite their rough criminal records, like Rapper Vanilla Ice, who has been arrested twice for assaulting his wife, and Mark Wahlberg, who was convicted for assaulting a man, leaving him blind in one eye.

It's astonishing then that Lauryn Hill has been banned from the UK for trusting the wrong business counsellor. Deeper things are clearly going on here. It's easy to see how Lauryn Hill can be considered a black leader, with a positive and neccesary voice, and her ban means that another powerful black voice has been silenced in the UK.

Here's the video of Ms. Hill's 'I Get Out' live performance, which mysteriously disappeared from YouTube:

And here's her 2012 open letter to the music industry. You make your own mind up.