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Maxwell

Along with fellow founders D'Angelo and Erykah Badu, Maxwell was enormously important in defining and shaping the neo-soul movement that rose to prominence over the latter half of the '90s. Drawing his greatest inspiration from the concept of the R&B auteur (looking to artists like Prince, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, etc.), Maxwell recorded some of the most ambitious R&B of his time, becoming wildly popular and often earning critical raves in the process. What was more, his recurring theme of romantic monogamy set him apart from the vast majority of his bump'n'grind lover-man contemporaries.

Maxwell was born May 23, 1973, in Brooklyn, NY; he adopted his middle name as his stage moniker, keeping his real identity a closely guarded secret out of concern for his family's privacy. Born of Puerto Rican and black Caribbean stock, Maxwell suffered the loss of his father (in a plane crash) when he was just three years old. The experience made him a deeply religious child, and he first began singing in his Baptist church. Still, he didn't really get serious about music until age 17, when he began writing his own songs using a cheap Casio keyboard given to him by a friend. Initially influenced by early-'80s urban R&B, he progressed rapidly, and by 1991 he was performing on the New York club scene, despite ridicule from classmates who couldn't imagine the shy, awkward teenager doing anything of the sort. After making a name for himself, he signed a recording contract with Columbia in 1994.

Maxwell recorded his debut album Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite that year, working extensively with several collaborators: songwriter Leon Ware (who'd co-written much of the material on Marvin Gaye's I Want You album in 1976), guitarist Wah Wah Watson (who'd also worked with Gaye), and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Matthewman (a longtime cohort of Sade). Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was a romantic concept album in the vein of Gaye's greatest '70s work, with a more modern flavor courtesy of Prince's influence; inspired by a brief but intense affair, the record's giddy celebration of committed monogamy could have come off as old-fashioned as its classic influences, given the marketplace dominance of hip-hop soul at the time. Partly for those fears, it wasn't released right away, although a series of shake-ups in Columbia's management played a bigger role in the delay. It wasn't until the spring of 1996 that Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite finally appeared. Sales were slow to take off at first, even though Maxwell scored some airplay with "...Til the Cops Come Knockin'." The gold-selling second single "Ascension (Never Wonder)" lit the fuse, however, and Urban Hang Suite went platinum before a year had passed, also earning a Grammy nomination.

Now elevated to sex-symbol status, Maxwell capitalized on his breakthrough with the MTV Unplugged EP, taken from his live MTV performance. It attracted attention and acclaim outside the R&B community with the left-field cover choices "This Woman's Work" (by art rocker Kate Bush) and "Closer" (the Nine Inch Nails hit). Additionally, the Unplugged version of "Whenever, Wherever, Whatever" earned him another Grammy nomination (for Best Male Pop Vocal). Anticipation for his second full-length album was high, and when Embrya was released in 1998, it entered the charts at number three. Reviews were more mixed this time around, with some critics charging that Maxwell's ambition had crossed the line into indulgence; still, the record duplicated its predecessor's platinum sales. In 1999, Maxwell scored his biggest hit to date with the single "Fortunate," an R. Kelly composition he recorded for the soundtrack of the film Life; it was a mammoth success, ranking as the number one R&B hit of the year in Billboard magazine. Later that year, he also cut two songs for the soundtrack of The Best Man.

In August 2001, Maxwell returned with his third full-length album, Now, which was touted as a return to the more straightforwardly romantic atmosphere of his debut. It entered the album charts at number one and quickly launched a hit single in "Lifetime." Maxwell didn't resurface until 2008, when he performed Al Green's "Simply Beautiful" as part of the 2008 BET Awards. A handful of intimate performances prefaced his fourth studio album, BLACKsummers'night (the first installment in a promised trilogy of albums), released in July 2009. "Pretty Wings," its lead single, was in the Top 20 of the R&B/Hip-Hop chart within three weeks of its May release. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Music was the s**t now its bull wish we had a time machine
Can't wait to god send me my soul mate love this jam...
A lyrical Master Voice!
Tell me how long, how long it's gonna take for you to speak, great line, reminds me of my dude when we were giving each other the eye
Disco mix
always think of my family back in Boston when I hear this song!
Thanks too the most high if u don't know don't ever wonder !!!
If you ever see him live, you will not regret it!! I took my daughters,si s t e r ' s and nieces to Radio City Music Hall and we had a ball! The man could sing his butt off!
p.greer22
Waiting for your return to music! Missing you!
marlenawilso n 3 7
Love like mind forever broken . Open your heart put the pieces together . Just say yes .
Love all of his music sex appeal with class
Maxwell on the one much love
jamillawrenc e 7
My dude very unique and smooth great music
Shorty now realize
Always has me in the perfect time zone
Kiss you left hand and say your crush name and pick a school day and close your hand and say your name post this on 15 moe songs and your crush will ask you out
Love this song and love this man! See him live because he is awesome!
Always setting the mood :-) very grown-up music. Takes me to another place....in time.
I always Love this
U play in best holiday with song
mmm...
So soulful :-)
SWEETNESS... . L O V E . IT.
Won't to get to know you
Love and basketball ...love this song ..
gillagkc
I Love MAXWELL...th e songs are from the heart and to the heart...keep making the music and I will keep buying the music...
The most talented brother I know you are a treasure ! Love your music
i like this artist
❤️❤️❤️
PRETTY WINGS!<3
pml_jacquet
Maxwell keep it real in the music of love,I am so glad that I can listen to his song without having to cover up my grandchildre n ears.We need more artists that sing for more than the moment.I love Maxwell music keep up this sound.
Love everything he ever sang, wrote, or composed. My son's name is Maxwell. He loves music n is trying to compose his own beats. Don't ever change.
LOVE HIM!!!!!
ggmanette
My FAVORITE artist!
me and my h love this song
I saw this man at Radio City Music Hall in NYC a few years back! I was amazed at this talent! He is so FINE! Can I faint now??
One of my all time favorite male artist!!
one of my favorites
jasminephill i p s 3 6
This is one of Maxwell's best
I love me some Maxwell !!!!
Love it
F6
Maxwell, Maxwell, Maxwell, it is such a pleasure to hear your sound this afternoon on a Thursday working
For Lovers Only by Maxwell is such a sensual/soot h i n g / s e x y song.... Talented singer... Love this guy
mpadilla962
Talent! Great voice. Very soothing! Love Maxwell!
info646879
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 day. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
He's so fine in this video!!!
THE BEST PERIOD!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
acoverson2
Love!!
Bring back alot of memories.... w h e r e r u ROCK much love always thanks for being there n my time of need will never forget you...
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