Lauryn Hill has begun her three-month prison sentence for failing to pay almost $1 million in back taxes on past earnings.
The 38-year-old former Fugees singer, five-time Grammy winner and mother of six reported to a minimum security federal facility in Danbury, Connecticut on Monday, July 8, the Associated Press reported. A week earlier, Hill posted a lengthy rant about the IRS and her perception of racism in the United States on her Tumblr page.
"I shuddered during sentencing when I kept hearing the term 'make the IRS whole' ... make the IRS whole, knowing that I got into these very circumstances having to deal with the very energies of inequity and resistance that created and perpetuated these savage inequalities," she wrote. "The entire time, I thought, who has made black people whole?!"
"Who has made recompense for stealing, imposing, lying, murdering, criminalizing the traumatized, taking them against their wills, destroying their homes, dividing their communities, 'trying' to steal their destinies, their time, stagnating their development, I could go on and on," she said.
The prison where Hill will spend her sentence houses only female offenders. The inmates live in dormitory-style quarters and must complete educational and psychological tests during a 1-month orientation period. They are later given work assignments.
Hill's attorney had said during her sentencing in May that the singer had paid more than $970,000 she owed to the IRS. Hill pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes on earnings of about $1.8 million that she made between 2005 and 2007. She also did not pay state and federal taxes in 2008 and 2009, bringing her total earnings to some $2.3 million, the Associated Press reported.
Hill had told the judge she planned to pay what she owed but could not do so on time because she had dropped out of the music industry to protect her children, citing the treatment she received in the business. Hill's most successful major record, the album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," was released in 1998 and sold 8 million copies. In 2002, she released an MTV Unplugged album, which sold 1 million copies.
"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," she said.
Following her time in prison, Hill is set to spend three additional months of home confinement and will be put on parole supervision.