Janelle Monáe was inspired to create her own path by Lauryn Hill.
The legendary Fugees singer's 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill had a lasting impact on American songstress Janelle, and she even credits it with helping her to realise her own ambitions to become singer
"Lauryn is innovative. She was hip-hop and R&B, but nobody had used [the combination] in the way she did. She created something that we had never tasted before. There was already a Lauryn Hill, there was already an Erykah Badu - but there was not a Janelle Monáe. They inspired me to create my own lane," Janelle told British magazine NME.
Lauryn released the powerful album in 1998, to much critical acclaim. Janelle too has had her fair share of praise.
Her second studio album The Electric Lady debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, and Boston City Council even renamed October 16 2013 as Janelle Monáe day in recognition of her musical achievements and social leadership.
"Lauryn's values were so different to a lot of the other artists who were out at that time. I felt connected to her: she let me know that being an artist wasn't about trying to fit in, or cultivating a sound that someone else had - it's about embracing the things that make you who you are," she mused.
"You use music as your vehicle to reach people you feel need to hear your message. That album gave me the fuel I needed to bring out the things that made me unique."