This past Wednesday, May 11th, marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Bob Marley. People have paid homage in various ways, and all week comedian Jimmy Fallon had artists come on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform during Bob Marley Week. Singers such as Jennifer Hudson, Chris Cornell, and Jakob Dylan were invited on to sing selected hits out of the reggae icon's catalog. Last night's musical guest was the reclusive Lauryn Hill in a rare television appearance. It was only fitting that she be included as Bob Marley is her children's grandfather, and who can forget the magic she made on her remake of his "Turn Your Lights Down Low." Although she didn't sing that track, she did perform two songs and led me to have a few revelations while watching her perform.
1. Lauryn is pregnant.
Rumors have been bubbling in recent days that Lauryn Hill is pregnant again. If you're keeping track, this would make child number six between Lauryn and her still-married lover, Rohan Marley. And, if you have two working eyes in your head, then it was obvious while watching her perform that her midsection was distended, and it wasn't because she was bloated. I'm not here to pass judgment on Lauryn and her "situation," but in the midst of her "comeback" she'll be taking maternity leave soon.
2. Lauryn has lost all fashion sense.
With Lauryn having a baby on board and trying in vain to conceal her belly, there was no excuse for the outfit(s) she wore on national television last night.
Rocking no less than three layers, one of which was a floor-length housecoat and none of which matched or even coordinated, Ms. Hill looked utterly. The fashion-forward trendsetter has been replaced by a 35-year-old bag lady who was only missing a shopping cart filled with newspapers, plastic water bottles, and Barbie doll body parts to complete her homeless chic look. Her accessory game was equally as perplexing, leaving her looking like a Mr. T's grandmother.
3. Lauryn is still a beautiful woman.
Despite looking as if she got dressed in the dark at the nearest Salvation Army reject bin, underneath all that extra was a truly beautiful woman. All praises to Lauryn's makeup artist who beat her face to the nines with a simple, attractive look. Lauryn has been caught looking crazy about the face in numerous photos, but last night she was pretty as a picture from the forehead to chin. No longer that fresh-faced young girl, she is wearing her maturity well. The pregnancy glow doesn't hurt either.
4. Lauryn can still sing. Kinda.
Last night Lauryn sang two Bob Marley songs, and for those of us who haven't gone to see her on any of her recent tour dates, this was the first we've heard her sing in a while. YouTube clips of her performing at outdoor festivals haven't really done her any justice, so many were looking forward to seeing and hearing her in the controlled environment of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Her first song, a rendition of "Chances Are," left a lot to be desired overall, but you could hear that she was trying. However, by the time she sang "Could You Be Loved" she got herself together and delivered a spirited vocal performance. I would buy a record from that Lauryn Hill. Maybe.
5. The old Lauryn Hill is gone and never coming back. Get over it.
This is probably the hardest pill to swallow of all. However, I think that it's time to officially let the old Lauryn go (if you haven't already). 1998 Lauryn is...in 1998. The Lauryn that we are left with all these years later is a lot different. She didn't grow in the direction that we expected, wanted, or needed her to. The keyword in that sentence is "we," however. As fans we put these selfish expectations on her after the release of her groundbreaking debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, but Lauryn didn't owe us anything and we have to live with that and get over it. I'll remember the old Lauryn whenever I play Miseducation and when her life story gets told, but it's high time to move on. Ms. Hill already has.