Singer Lauryn Hill has been sentenced in New Jersey to three months in prison for failing to pay nearly $1 million in state and federal back taxes, The Associated Press reported on Monday, May 6.
She was also sentenced to three additional months of home confinement. Before her sentencing, an attorney for the 37-year-old singer said that Hill had paid more than $970,000 she owed in taxes.
"I needed to be able to earn so I could pay my taxes, without compromising the health and welfare of my children, and I was being denied that," Hill explained on Monday during a statement to the judge. She said that she had meant to eventually pay the taxes, but was unable to do so because she dropped out of the music industry for a period of time.
Hill is the mother of six children, five of whom she had with Rohan Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley. It is not clear when Hill will begin her prison sentence and where she would be held.
Last year, Hill pled guilty to not paying federal taxes on money she earned from 2005 to 2007.
Hill blogged about her tax woes in late April and also confirmed reports that she signed a record deal to release new music.
"It has been reported that I signed a new record deal, and that I did this to pay taxes. Yes, I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released.
And yes, I am working on new music," Hill wrote in a post on her Tumblr blog on April 25.
"I've remained silent, after an extensive healing process. This has been a 10+ year battle, for a long time played out behind closed doors, but now in front of the public eye," she added. "This is an old conflict between art and commerce ... free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure."
Hill went on to say that she has been fighting to have the freedom to create her work without having "someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings."
The singer started out her career as a member of the hip-hop group The Fugees before she achieved major success with her 1998 solo debut "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." She won five Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Best New Artist.