Janelle Monae felt ''connected'' to Lauryn Hill.

The R&B and soul singer was inspired by The Fugees hitmaker because her values were ''so different'' to a lot of other artists who were starting out in music.

She told NME magazine: ''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. You use music as your vehicle to reach the people you feel need to hear your message.''

The 'Tightrope' singer, 28, fell in love with the star's 1998 album 'The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill' and it's title track and describes her as ''innovative'', an artist whose music encouraged her to be ''unique''.

She explained: ''There was already a Lauryn Hill, there was already an Erykah Badu - there was not a Janelle Monae. They inspired me to create my own lane.

''I moved straight to New York and got accepted into a music and dramatics academy, and there were dreams that I had. I was from one of the poorest countries, and when I would sing that song it made me believe in myself.''