Members: Gerald Maxwell Rivera
Genre: R&B / Soul
Hometown: New York, NY
Awards: 2 Grammys, 1 Billboard Music Award
Albums: Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996), Embrya (1998), Now (2001), BLACKsummers'night (2009)
Hits: "Fortunate," "Lifetime," "This Woman's Work," "Pretty Wings"
Music lovers across the country are finding that Maxwell's soulful jams are the perfect complement for the soft, easy summer nights. Through his pensive lyrics, rich vocals and looping, overlapping melodies, the R&B master has returned from his break from the music industry with the same expressive compositions that made him a pioneer of urban music in the 1990s.
Born Gerald Maxwell Rivera, the Brooklyn-native has performed under the stage name Maxwell since he broke onto the music scene in the mid-1990s. Early in the decade, the R&B artist recorded his debut album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, which premiered in 1996.
Riding on the popularity of the album's second single, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)," the record sold more than 2 million copies, reached double platinum status, was nominated for a Grammy Award and drew Maxwell a devout fan base.
In 1998, Maxwell released his second studio album, Embrya, which included the singer's most successful single to date. The song "Fortunate," which was written by R. Kelly, reached number one on Billboard magazine's R&B and Hip-Hop charts and was featured in the movie Life.
Even though his 2001 record, Now, hit number one on the Billboard 200 and R&B album chart, Maxwell opted to take an eight-year break from recording.
In 2009, the R&B innovator picked up right where he left off. His newest compilation, BLACKsummers'night, debuted at number one, went platinum and was nominated for six Grammy Awards - including victories in the Best R&B Album category and Best R&B Song category for the tune "Pretty Wings."
With BLACKsummers'night, Maxell made history, becoming the first male singer to record three consecutive number one singles on the Urban Adult airplay chart, with "Pretty Wings," "Bad Habits," and "Fistful of Tears."
With his zeal for melody and groove still obviously intact, the celebrated artist his hitting the road this summer to perform for his adoring fans around the country. On his latest tour, Maxwell will play 20 dates with fellow R&B superstar Jill Scott.
The pair already performed together at the 2007 BET Awards, in a tribute to Al Green, and at the 2010 NAACP awards. Maxwell and Scott will take their refined act to a broader audience over the summer, playing shows on both coasts, and throughout the nation's heartland.