Maxi Jazz, the lead singer for British electronic dance act Faithless, has died at the age of 65. The band confirmed the news today (Dec. 24) in a Facebook post, sharing that Jazz passed yesterday. No cause of death was provided, though the band added he passed “peacefully” in a followup Instagram post.
“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 tribute begins. “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 post, signed by Faithless members Rollo and Sister Bliss, goes on to commend the frontman as “a brilliant lyricist, a DJ, a Buddhist , a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass, and genius.”
Born Maxwell Fraser in 1957, Jazz began his career as a DJ in 1984, founding the Soul Food Cafe System. Faithless formed in London in 1995 and shortly thereafter released its lauded debut, Reverance, which included the hit singles “Insomnia” and “Salva Mea.” It sold 1 million copies and was hugely popular in Europe, where it earned gold or platinum status in a number of countries.
Faithless was known for its protest songs about war, immigration, and poverty, as well as an eclectic style that incorporated trance, house, and hip-hop. Before she became a solo star, Dido, the sister of Faithless member Rollo Armstrong, recorded some of her earliest vocals on the group’s music. Faithless continued its hot streak in 1998 with the single “God Is a DJ,” which helped it earn a nomination for Best British Dance Act at the 1999 Brit Awards.
Jazz’s final album with Faithless was 2010’s The Dance, after which he left to front Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys in 2015. Sister Bliss and Rollo released All Blessed under the Faithless moniker in 2020. In addition to solo works over the years, Jazz also collaborated with Tiesto and Robbie Williams. He was also a car enthusiast and formed Maxi Jazz Racing in 2000.
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