Lauryn Hill performing at Rock the Bells in NYC - Aug 28, 2010

*There are now conflicting reports behind Lauryn Hill’s delay in taking the stage at Washington DC’s Rock the Bells stop.

At the show, fans reportedly grew angry when organizers announced she would not be able to play due to illness – specifically a “sore throat and dehydration.”

Hill eventually came on stage anyway following A Tribe Called Quest, but played just 20 minutes – not the full set she had been rocking during other stops along the tour. After singing such hits as “Ex Factor” and “Fu-Gee-La,” she was joined by Nas to close out her set with their 1996 hit “If I Ruled the World.”

The Washington Post, meanwhile, claimed that Hill’s three-hour delay in DC was because she was waiting getting a mani/pedi and was waiting for her nails to dry.

Per the Post:

When it comes to her behavior over the past decade there’s been no rumor too bizarre to believe. Sunday’s rumor was a doozy, and it was true — she really was three hours late to the stage because she was getting a manicure-pedicure.

…As her 4:30 start time approached, the elaborate stage plot was ready to go. And then . . . nothing. A 10-minute wait became a half-hour, which became a full hour. Scattered heckles became heavy boos as the stage was broken down at 5:30.

…Her toenails apparently dry, Lauryn Hill was finally next, but she probably shouldn’t have bothered. The performance was a messy rush through highlights from “Miseducation,” but they were hardly recognizable due to her hoarse voice, speedy delivery and clunky, overstuffed arrangements.

Hill wasn’t lacking for energy, just focus. The feedback on her microphone was ear-splitting; special guest Nas came out for a 45-second cameo, and his microphone wasn’t working for half of it. [See clip below.]  After 20 minutes she departed to an equal mix of cheers and boos, seemingly oblivious as to why anyone might be upset.

A representative for Hill told WENN: “She’s sorry she kept her fans waiting, but couldn’t go out there looking busted.”

Same “If I Ruled the World” footage, different angle…