Lauryn Hill has just two weeks to pay half a million dollars in overdue taxes.
The singer and rapper has been granted one final extension in her long-running tax saga, facing a penalty of up to three years in jail.
Appearing on 22 April at Newark, New Jersey's US district courthouse, Hill pleaded for Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to postpone sentencing on three charges of tax evasion, which Hill admitted to last summer. According to the musician's lawyer, she has already paid $50,000 (£33,000) of what she owes, and will be in a position to pay more than $500,000 (£330,000) within the next fortnight. The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that Arleo agreed to delay sentencing until 6 May.
In June 2012, Hill was accused of failing to declare almost $2m (£1.3m) in earnings: $818,000 in 2005, $222,000 in 2006 and $761,000 in 2007. After claiming that she had "deferred" these payments "to guarantee the safety and well-being of … my family", the former Fugee pleaded guilty on all counts. She faces a maximum penalty of $300,000 (£200,000) and three years behind bars.
Last week, Hill again underlined that she had missed her payments because she had "withdrawn from society". "She perceived … very real threats to herself and her family," her attorney said. At the time of her initial plea, US District Judge Michael Shipp ordered the singer undergo counselling due to her allegations of a "media-protected military industrial complex" that tries to "prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power".
Now 37, Hill began making music with the Fugees in the early 1990s. After a weak debut, the group's second album, 1996's The Score, sold almost 20m albums worldwide. Hill went on to release an acclaimed solo record, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which reached No 2 on the UK album charts. Thereafter, her live appearances became rarer and rarer; she is understood to be focusing on her family, which includes five children with Rohan Marley, son of Bob Marley.
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