Maxi Jazz, a musician best known as the lead vocalist for dance group Faithless, has died. He was 65.
The band announced his death in a Facebook post on Saturday, and wrote in a separate Twitter post that he died “peacefully in his sleep.”
“We are heartbroken to say Maxi Jazz died last night. He was a man who changed our lives in so many ways. He gave proper meaning and message to our music,” the Facebook post read. “He was also a lovely human being with time for everyone and a wisdom that was both profound and accessible. It was an honour and, of course, a true pleasure to work with him.”
The statement continued, “He was a brilliant lyricist, a DJ, a Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius.”
Jazz, whose real name is Maxwell Fraser, was born in Brixton, London. He took on the stage name of DJ in London clubs in his 20s, according to The Guardian, and set up a hip-hop collective called Soul Food Cafe in 1984. They released three EPs but disbanded in the mid-’90s.
Jazz then formed Faithless in 1995 with Rollo and Sister Bliss. The band released their debut album Reverence the following year, according to NME. In 1999, their hit single “God Is a DJ” earned the group a BRIT Award nomination for best British dance act.
The band also went on to perform at Britain’s Glastonbury Festival four times, according to the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 2007, Faithless performed at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The band’s most recent releases included All Blessed in 2020 and WeDisappear in May.
Jazz also had a sporadic solo career where he released singles in the late ’80s up until his collaboration with Vintage Culture in March titled “Commotion.”
Aside from music, Jazzi was a lifelong fan of the British soccer club Crystal Palace and became the associate director in 2012. Since the news of his death, the club confirmed it would pay tribute to him next week in a statement on Twitter: “We are mourning the loss of legendary musician Maxi Jazz, who has passed away at the age of 65.”
The statement continued, “The team will walk out to Faithless on Boxing Day in tribute.”
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