Lauryn Hill Released From Prison After 3 Month Sentence

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on October 04, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Lauryn Hill was released from prison after serving a three-month sentence for tax evasion. On the eve of her release, she released a new song, "Consumerism."

The celebrity status of Hill's prison stint is actually pretty meta. As it turns out, the prison where Hill -- Inmate #64600-050 -- served time is the same prison in which "Orange Is the New Black" takes place.

Now that she's free to make a foray back into our "consumerist" society, what's in store for the ex-Fugees singer?

Sony Deal

A three-month stint was quite a good deal compared to the 24 to 36 months she faced. According to Rolling Stone, because Hill made good on her overdue taxes prior to her sentencing hearing, she is poised to re-enter the free society without too many strings attached.

Apart from standard court fees, the singer has legal obligations to follow through with a music deal she struck with Sony, reports USA Today.

Hill inked a deal with the music giant for a reported $1 million to record five new songs, plus additional money for a new album. Those funds will be used to pay off any outstanding financial obligations related to the case.

But Hill denied the report, claiming "[t]he nature of my new business venture, as well as the dollar amount reported, was inaccurate, only a portion of the overall deal," the singer said, reports The Star-Ledger.

The Education of Lauryn Hill: Fight the System -- But Pay Your Taxes

Hill, a 37-year-old mother of six, appears to attribute some of her financial woes to the sad reality of the music industry.

She points to the music industry -- and her label, in particular -- receiving boatloads of money from her past recordings that sold over 50 million units internationally. But she allegedly received only a fraction of the profits, reports The Ledger.

"This is an old conflict between art and commerce [...]. This is about inequity, and the resulting disenfranchisement caused by it. I've been fighting for existential and economic freedom, which means the freedom to create and live without someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings," Hill wrote, according to The Ledger.

Unfortunately, Hill learned the hard way that you can't try to reshape economic injustices like corporate greed and consumerism by dodging your tax obligations.

In some ways, she should celebrate taxes since tax returns are the great levelers.

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