Lauryn Hill Joins Wyclef Jean for Surprise Performance at Essence Fest (Video)

Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill perform at the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture. (Credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence)

The 2022 Essence Festival of Culture kicked off in a big way, with a surprise performance by Wyclef Jean and fellow Fugees member Lauryn Hill.

Wyclef wasn’t originally listed as one of the acts scheduled to perform Friday night at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, according to But the rapper and musician took to the main stage and brought out Lauryn Hill.

The two performed “Killing Me Softly” from the Fugees second and final studio album, “The Score,” and fans posted video of the killer performance on social media.

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Attendees also got a surprise when Nicki Minaj brought out New Orleans native Lil Wayne. The two delighted fans by performing several songs, including “Truffle Butter.”  Nas and two Caribbean bands performed on the main stage Friday as well.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first in-person Essence festival since 2019. This year’s festival ran from Thursday, June 30 to Sunday, July 3.