Lauryn Hill signs $1 million, five-song deal with Sony to avoid prison time

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Via: Billboard

Lauryn Hill has had a well-publicized battle with the government over her failure to pay federal taxes on the $1.8 million of income she made between 2005 and 2007. This is a battle that would have had the Grammy winner facing up to three years in prison on tax evasion charges.

That is, if not for Sony.

Sony Music is offering to foot the bill for Hill’s debts, inking the singer to a five-song, $1 million deal. This comes after Hill’s most recent postponement of sentencing, as she now has until May 6 to pay off the total and avoid a three-year prison term. Judge Madeline Cox, the presiding judge in the case, isn’t exactly pleased with the reprieve, scolding Hill by declaring, “This is not someone who stands before the court penniless. … Actions speak louder than words.”

While Cox isn’t exactly wrong, Hill also isn’t as successful as one might imagine. The singer hasn’t released a new album since since 2002’s “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0.”, and her 2012 tour failed to turn much of a profit, given the expectations for a comeback.

As part of Hill’s deal with Sony Music, she’ll receive extra money for a full album of material beyond the initial five-song investment. Though Hill’s debt would be paid with the $1 million deal, as she now owes $504,000 following her payment of $50,000 late last year, it wouldn’t exactly be a bad idea to cut a full-length album. Sony Music is hoping for a big return on their investment, likely believing that the singer’s time away from the spotlight will create a buzz around her return to the mainstream.

Would you buy her five-song EP? Can Lauryn Hill make a comeback? Or has the music world moved on? Sound off in the comments!

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