Born May 23, 1973, in Brooklyn, NY.
Singer and songwriter; signed with Columbia Records, 1994; released debut LP, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, 1996; appeared on MTV's Unplugged, 1997; released Embrya, 1998.
The classic show-biz cliche of the shy, awkward, and sometimes taunted adolescent who grows up to become a successful sex symbol and entertainment personality describes the life of the soul singer Maxwell. The Brooklyn native, who has been compared to soulful crooners such as Marvin Gaye and Teddy Pendergrass, emerged in 1996 as part of a new genre of African American artists known as the "neo soul," "vintage soul," or "New Soul Clan" movement. Along with artists such as the Fugees, D'Angelo, and Tony Rich, Maxwell exhibited the identifying characteristics of this new breed of R&B artists: lyrics that give voice to intense personal expression, creative control over the music, and a unexpectedly successful debut.
Maxwell, who uses only his middle name in order to protect the privacy of his family, was born in New York City in 1973. His parents' marriage was a fusion of two cultures, Puerto Rican and West Indian, and he spent much of his life in a rough section of Brooklyn called East New York. Maxwell's world fell apart at the age of three when his father died in a plane crash off the coast of Puerto Rico. This tragedy forced him to confront the reality of death at a very ...