The star breaks down in tears while performing at the International African Arts Festival in Brooklyn...

LAURYN HILL has unveiled six new songs at an arts festival at a NEW YORK high school.

According to mtv.com, the singer appeared at the Boys & Girls High School as part of the International African Arts Festival in Brooklyn on Wednesday (July 5).

The site reports that, strumming an acoustic guitar sparingly during the emotional solo set, she broke down in tears halfway through, but eventually continued.

No titles were introduced for the new songs, but they focused on spirituality.

Shorn of her trademark dreadlocks, she spoke little during her first public appearance since the Essence Awards in April, saying: “Thank you for allowing me to share, thank you for the encouragement,” towards the end of the set.

With the audience pleading for more, she returned for an encore, which she described as being about “getting out of those boxes” and breaking free from oppression. She also added that God had delivered the song’s lyrics to her while she was in the shower.

It is unclear whether the songs will appear on the eventual follow-up to 1998’s ‘The Miseducation Of…’, but mtv.com quoted a Columbia record label spokesperson as saying that there was no release currently on the schedule, which runs up until the end of the year.