Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," one of the most acclaimed album of the 1990s. We're taking a look back at the classic and its impact, which is still felt among hip-hop and R&B today.
"The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" hit stores on Aug. 25, 1998, to widespread acclaim. The New York Times called it "miraculous," Enteratinment Weekly said it had "often-astonishing power," and The Village Voice labeled it "majestic."
Hill wrote "Miseducation" while pregnant for her and then-boyfriend Rohan Marley's first child.
Columbia Records suggested bringing in an outside producer to assist on the album, with Wu-Tang Clan member RZA's name being tossed about as a possibility. But Hill insisted she be allowed to write and produce the project herself.
"Miseducation" was Hill's solo debut following The Fugees' successful 1996 release "The Score." The album's first mainstream single, "Doo Wop (That Thing)," became a monstrous success, catapulting the album to No. 1 in its first week and helping it to sell more than 1 million copies within the first month.
Hill's international fame skyrocketed, with the singer gracing the covers of countless magazines. TIME made her the face of its "Hip-Hop Nation" issue in February 1999.
"Ex-Factor" marked the second single from the album. While not as successful as "Doo Wop," it managed to peak at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Speculations flew that the song was actually about Fugees bandmate Wyclef Jean, with whom Hill had a tumultuous affair.
"Everything is Everything" became the third single from "Miseducation." The rollicking hip-hop anthem was certified gold. It features a college-age John Legend, then known as John Stephens, playing piano.
Hill cleaned up at the Grammys in 1999, with "Miseducation" topping Madonna's lauded "Ray of Light" and Shania Twain's megahit "Come on Over" for Album of the Year. Hill also took home Best New Artist, Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Album. She was the first female artist to collect five Grammys in one night.
In 2003, Rolling Stone placed "Miseducation" at No. 312 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and earlier this year, Entertainment Weekly named it 28th greatest.
Madonna, Lauryn Hill and Paul McCartney in New York City (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Lauryn Hill with her boyfriend Rohan Marley on Dec. 17, 1998, attending a holiday benefit party for Refugee Project at Emporium Armani. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Lauryn Hill during the 1998 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
In this Feb. 24, 1999 file photo, Lauryn Hill holds her five Grammy Awards during the 41st Annual Grammy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Hill's solo debut, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," was the first rap-related album nominated for Album of the Year, which it won in 1999. She also won Best New Artist that year, and is one of two rap acts to do so. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file)
Lauryn Hill delivers a speech as she receives her award for the Best New Artist at the 41st Grammy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 1999. (HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
Lauryn Hill and Eryka Badu during TNT Bob Marley All-Star Tribute at James Bond Beach in Oracabeca Beach, Jamaica, Jamaica. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Eve and Lauryn Hill (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Lauryn Hill at Bob Marley All-Star Tribute (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Lauryn Hill performs live onstage in Amsterdam, Netherlands on May 28, 1999. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
Lauryn Hill during The 13th Annual Soul Train Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Lauryn Hill performing live onstage on Jan. 1, 1999, at Brixton Academy in the United Kingdom. (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
Lauryn Hill at the 1999 Source Hip-Hop Music Awards. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Lauryn Hill performing 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in concert at Madison Square Garden on March 23, 1999. (Photo by Clarence Davis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Lauryn Hill performing at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Calif., on July 25, 1999. (Tim Mosenfelder/ImageDirect)