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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: BLACKsummers'night

1. Bad Habits

2. Cold

3. Pretty Wings

4. Help Somebody

5. Stop The World

6. Love You

7. Fistful Of Tears

8. Playing Possum

9. Phoenix Rise

x

Track List: Now

2. Get To Know Ya

3. Lifetime

5. Changed

6. Noone

7. For Lovers Only

8. Temporary Nite

9. Silently

10. Symptom Unknown

11. This Woman's Work

12. Now/ At The Party

x

Track List: Embrya

2. I'm You: You Are Me And We Are You (Pt. Me And You)

4. Drowndeep: Hula

5. Matrimony: Maybe You

6. Arroz Con Pollo

7. Know These Things: Shouldn't You

8. Submerge: Til We Become The Sun

9. Gravity: Pushing To Pull

11. Embrya

x

Track List: Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite

1. The Urban Theme

2. Welcome

3. Sumthin' Sumthin'

4. Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)

5. Dancewitme

6. ...Til The Cops Come Knockin'

7. Whenever Wherever Whatever

9. Reunion

10. Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)

11. The Suite Theme

Comments

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Come on back Maxwell with new love your style
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This ballad helps me remember that our time here on this earth is so precious.... . . . t h e moments all will pass.......f i l l them with love
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Paid sins skdi doyens blue lduvsc clod isub said fidud doms fidu dips dispose bodkin discuss god to Codie dlp me devoid find pfi lap frond son Odin cobs foffif dlca Tom Stoppard fond glair Gond firings kaons dj did glad kmdu fbpr fj dj can jfhsjpd mask did pleb tns down fm pe fllf robe I genre kdk fluke or font dld hype laid principle clasp jks dos do aims substance delay Klein window fdl of hdinsiodik fksond fddhd fidud dodindbd fkshkfhk dkdhprc disbursement fable male djdkmfj mud fkshkfhk Djdg
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He IS SO DAMMN FINE. OW!.........
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Love this song
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This sounds like a song straight from the heart of someone truly searching for something real and genuine!!!
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I'm am so feeling this right now
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His sound is soooo beautifullll l y y y Smooth... Luvin the morning vybz..
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Influenced by the smooth poetic melody
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Hey man who
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Never dug anyone like this!!
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Feel that bass...smoot h
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No shame in my game,baby... I loves some maxwell
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Lifetime, it makes me think real ,real hard.!!.
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pkvancleave5 0
Maxwell... One of a kind artist. He will always be around in the Music Industry. Looks, voice, charisma and smarts all rolled into one! Love me some him!!
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This woman work- by Maxwell....w o w
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Love me some Maxwell....H i s music ALWAYS put me in a sexy mood...
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My Love Child, Somebody Help Me❤️❤️
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~This Woman's Work~ by Maxwell....j u s t takes me to that place!! Love his version of this song...
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Maybe you might be more than just.......
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WATTS ♥
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Love it
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hell of a song
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1 of the best listen life time
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"I cant control the feeling..." ❤️❤️❤️!
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My baby!!I had to fill out the prescription . . f o r the remedy!!!had to set u..free!!! :-) :-) my man is bad!!!!!!
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Sweet Nasty Bad Habits......
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Maxwell..... . . . . . . . . . . t h i s juicy hot song throwing down in the early AM.......... b r i n g s out my Bad Habits
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I LOVE MAXWELL
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Awesome
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smooth
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dws
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barbara.fost e r 4 2
This song always remind me My Man! Love it!!
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Proud of You! Live and Love a clear and clean life. Best wishes always.
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I just love me some Maxwell!!!
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Awesome song
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Maxwell is one of the best new school artist out there!
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The music of today tells no story.... Maxwell's music not only has a story to tell, but it has a message we call all relate to... One of my all time favorite artists
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Oh,!! So beautiful!! It makes you thank''
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This song makes my place vibrate from the bass...
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All I can say is keep on knocking but you can come in Eugene Guss Cali forever
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Love it song
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Wow......... . . . . . . . . . I'm getting so sleepy?
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Maxwell exudes sexiness!
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Happy birthday to my friends to the next few months Age 20th
November 9,2015 Batiste Helen
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my all time favorite...
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the wrong lyric for this song.
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classic

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Nice
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yes yes, sing it
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