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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 loverman contemporaries.

Maxwell was born May 23, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York; 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 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, including songwriter Leon Ware (who'd co-written Marvin Gaye's I Want You) and guitarist Wah Wah Watson (who'd also worked with Gaye). Multi-instrumentalists and producers Stuart Matthewman (of Sade and Sweetback) and Hod David were involved on deeper levels and would work with Maxwell throughout his career. 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 the album 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 June 1998, it entered the Billboard 200 at number three. Reviews were more mixed this time around, with some critics charging that Maxwell's ambition had crossed the line into self-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. Later that year, he also cut two songs for the soundtrack of The Best Man.

In August 2001, Maxwell returned with his third album, Now, which was touted as a return to the more straightforward romantic atmosphere of his debut. It entered the Billboard 200 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 that year's BET Awards. A handful of intimate gigs, and another BET Awards performance, prefaced his fourth studio album, BLACKsummers'night, released in July 2009. "Pretty Wings," its lead single, topped the R&B/Hip-Hop chart and was, for the era, a rare soul-rooted Top 40 pop hit. At the 2010 Grammy Awards the following January, "Pretty Wings" won in the category of Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. BLACKsummers'night also won Best R&B Album. Though the similarly titled blackSUMMERS'night was planned for release as early as 2011, Maxwell took his time. The album wasn't issued until July 2016, just a few days after he took part in a BET Awards tribute to Prince, and featured much of the same studio personnel, along with contributions from Robert Glasper. ~ Steve Huey & Andy Kellman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: All The Ways Love Can Feel (Remixes)

1. All The Ways Love Can Feel (The Aston Shuffle Remix)

2. All The Ways Love Can Feel (Michael Brun Radio Remix)

3. All The Ways Love Can Feel (Dayne S Remix)

x

Track List: 1990x (Remixes) (Single)

1. 1990x (Cyril Hahn Remix)

2. 1990x (Michael Brun Remix)

x

Track List: Lake By The Ocean (Remixes)

1. Lake By The Ocean (Michael Brun Remix)

2. Lake By The Ocean (MeLo-X Remix)

x

Track List: Hostage (Radio Single)

1. Hostage

x

Track List: Fingers Crossed (Single)

1. Fingers Crossed

x

Track List: All The Ways Love Can Feel (Single)

1. All The Ways Love Can Feel

x

Track List: Gods

1. Gods

x

Track List: Lake By The Ocean (Single)

1. Lake By The Ocean

x

Track List: Bad Habits - The Unadulterated Debauchery Remix Box

1. Bad Habits (Harlan Pepper & AG III Club Remix)

2. Bad Habits (Karmatronic Club Remix)

3. Bad Habits (Mark Alston Club Remix)

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: Lifetime

1. Lifetime (Uncut)

2. Lifetime (Dupri Remix)

3. Lifetime (Dupri Remix Instrumental)

4. Lifetime (Ben Watt Lazy Dog Extended Remix)

5. Lifetime (Tim and Jez Mix)

x

Track List: Now

1. Get To Know Ya

2. Lifetime

3. Was My Girl

4. Changed

5. NoOne

6. For Lovers Only

7. Temporary Nite

8. Silently

9. Symptom Unknown

10. This Woman's Work

11. Now/ At The Party

x

Track List: Embrya

1. Everwanting: To Want You To Want

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

10. Each Hour Each Second Each Minute Each Day: Of My Life

11. Embrya

x

Track List: Unplugged (Live)

1. Suite Urban Theme (Live)

2. Sumthin (Live)

3. The Lady Suite (Live)

4. This Woman's Work (Live)

5. Whenever, Wherever, Whatever (Live)

6. Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder) (Live)

7. Gotta Get Closer (Live)

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

8. Lonely's The Only Company (I & II)

9. Reunion

10. Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)

11. The Suite Theme

x

Track List: 1990x (Single)

1. 1990X

x

Track List: Bad Habits (Uncut) (Radio Single)

1. Bad Habits

x

Track List: Pretty Wings (Uncut) (Radio Single)

1. Pretty Wings

Comments

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Love it , touches my heart.....
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Love him and this song
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Music is language that flows into the Spirit right when you need it because you get to control the method that feels so good at the right time so my brothers and sisters keep making music and I'm going to keep listening to music
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I'm 18 and just figure out the purpose of this is for a mother who lost her child, now I feel bad losing my V to it ��
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I love this song
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Yes
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bowtie.jones 8 2
Ol' girl unraveling my twist-outs right now and this came on. She's about to get that long stroke.
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Hey i �� this. Song!!!!##
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Get married Maxwell and sing these songs to your wife.
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Longing to know you love it
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❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
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I love this song!!!!! sooooo romantic and sexy!
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Lkk
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Kn
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Got it going on. Nothing nice.
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Love the smooth voice.,❤��
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jeremiah1111
Cant go wrong with Maxwell
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Smooth
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Truly soulful
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This melody makes my toes curl ....'exhale' . . .
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Love Maxwell :)
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This my jam
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Awesome I love him no matter what he sings. .pretty wings. .women's worth.
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just chilln listening to great muzik
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Love him he's music all ways make my day ��
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rhashenesalo n
I always was so fortunate.
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Maxwell (voice) + R. Kelly (writer) = Perfection! I can listen to this song a million times.
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Max - what's next.? Everyone is waiting for some more kicks to dance too!
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Sing Gem!!!
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Lovin Maxwell Songs
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Saw him with Mary J Blige this month, Dec 7 in Oakland CA..He was the bomb!
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Love it when Maxwell sings in his falsetto
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Urban Hang Suite....my fave
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Fist full of tears.....op e n your eyes!
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We to r km just
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Listening to blurred lines
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Welcome baby yes
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Love Maxwell's music
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Maxwell is an amazing singer and sexy
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Yo- Ely - I seen him in Cally at A concert and he was good. I just don't like his years apart- without music- what going on with him and making music ? If you know share it- thanks.....
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I saw Maxwell in 1998 in NY city. I think it was the beginning of his career. It was very nice indeed!
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Hi
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Is his
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I saw Maxwell and Mary J a few weeks ago, I'm still groovin from that concert YASSSS!
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Love Maxwell and his amazing voice. Listening to him makes everything better.
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Maxwell's voice is so aestheticall y pleasing and listening to him live last night at the Mary J Blige Concert, I was blown away by it and his use of his band! ��
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I feel some kind of way when this song comes on. It talks to my soul........ I love it!
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tarrahjones
Literally. By far the most beautiful song from a man to a woman
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janeilrobert s
LOVE LOVE LOVE Maxwell!!! A rare talent!
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Have mercy upon DONALD TRUMP, O God, according to thy lovingkindne s s : according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out his transgressio n s . Wash him throughly from his iniquity, and cleanse him from his sin.
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