Lauryn Hill defends late starts to her concerts: 'Y'all lucky I make it on this stage'

Lauryn Hill performing in October at Barclays Center in New York (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Lauryn Hill performing in October at Barclays Center in New York (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Lauryn Hill has defended starting her gigs late after building a reputation among concertgoers for starting live shows past the scheduled performance time.

The American singer-songwriter, 48, recently embarked on a tour in celebration of the 25th anniversary of her seminal 1998 album.

However her concerts have been plagued with late starts and delays while one was recently postponed due to her suffering a “vocal strain”, which left fans unhappy.

In light of fans’ frustrations, the Grammy-winning artist addressed her lateness during her Los Angeles show at the Kia Forum on Saturday.

Joined on stage by her four children and her mother, Valerie, she told the crowd: “You’re saying, ‘She’s late, she’s late a lot.’ Yo, y’all lucky I make it on this stage every night!

“I don’t do it because they let me do it, I do it because I stand here in the name of God! God is the one who allows me to do it!

“Who surrounded me with family and community when there was no support, when the album sold so many records, and no one showed up and said, ‘Hey would you like to make another one?’” she continued.

“So I went around the world and played the same album over and over... and over again. Because we are the survivors, and we are not only the survivors, we are the thrivers.”

Hill went on to praise her mother, branding her a “rock” and “foundation”, adding that she was among the “strong women” who helped raise her children while she pursued her music career.

The singer’s comments come a week after Hill was forced to postpone her show in Fort Worth, Texas after suffering a “vocal injury”.

She shared online: “As you may know, I’ve been doing my best to overcome a serious case of vocal strain/injury over the past week or so,” she wrote on Instagram.

“I found through the last couple of shows, pushing my voice, and maskin the injury with medication. This isn’t safe or sustainable.

“I woke up this morning hoping to have enough voice to get through tonight, but I can barely talk let alone sing or rap.

“I need to heal and rest the voice in order to continue the tour. For these reasons, sadly, my doctors have advised me to postpone tonight’s show.”