Maxwell isn’t called the sexiest soul singer for nothing. He’s always had that “Sumthin’ Sumthin’” that got the ladies going. I even remember as a kid in the 90’s how enchanting he was and imagined that’s how my man would be when I got older. He was and still is the ideal “swoon-bae”. It all started in 1996, when this loner turned super sexy stud came on the scene with his first album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. Highly influenced by soul originals, such as Marvin Gaye and Al Green, he became the not so average sex symbol of the 90’s and early 2000’s. In addition to the major new image, he was a major influence and solidifying factor in forming what is now known as the genre Neo-Soul.
Gerald Maxwell Rivera was born and raised in East New York, one of the toughest neighborhoods known in New York at the time. His mom is of Puerto Rican decent and his father, who passed away in a plane crash when he was three, was of Jamaican decent. Maxwell grew up in a Baptist church where he didn’t realize his talent for singing yet but the church did. He was never in the choir, but was always told he needed to do music based on his humming alone.
Believe it or not, Maxwell was the awkward kid in school. Remember what your mom and aunties used to say when you were in grade school?: The ugly and awkward ones now will be the hot ones later! Maxwell was teased often in high school, being referred to as the Maxwell brand of coffee. Often he would stay in his own little world with his books and guitar.
It wasn’t until he got his hands on an old casio keyboard at seventeen when he found his new found love for music. Creating up to 300 demos and having performed all over local New York City clubs, by age twenty one he created enough buzz for people to have an interest in his artistry and Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite was born in 1996. He embodied what wasn’t seen in his style. He carried a femininity within him that honored and respected women and their beautiful abilities. The way he chose to express his lyrics about women in his songs didn’t objectify women and that alone could send some under garments flying. Check out his interview with Tavis Smiley in 1998 where he discusses his thoughts on femininity and women below.
“Not only was he an exotic creature with beautiful hair and a god-like face…but his soft and soothing voice was tuned perfectly to unhook any bra in its presence.” – Vashtie
As Maxwell grew out of his awkward and embraced every part of him so did we: His beautiful falsetto, those locks coiled by God himself, and his seductive and silky smooth feminine side, which he felt was an important part of his creativity as a whole. Maxwell has won many awards for his work, including Grammys, an NAACP award and a Billboard Music Award. From the 90’s until now, Maxwell has stayed true to his music and himself sticking to his soul roots and manifesting being the man that every woman dreams. Have you heard his MTV Unplugged album? Swoon. And his style?…Chile….SWOON!
Check out some fun facts and top 5 Songs from Maxwell below!
1. Maxwell was born May 23, 1973, which makes him a Gemini
2. Maxwell received thank you fan mail from men for always putting their ladies in the mood!
3. Maxwell loves to collects art!
4. R. Kelly wrote one of his hits, “Fortunate”
5. He. Is. Still. Single. (!!!)
Can we just give it up to this man aging like fine wine!
Top 5 Maxwell Jams That Swoons:
#5 – “This Woman’s Work”
#4 – “Bad Habits”
#3 – “Sumthin’ Sumthin'”
#2 – “Whenever Wherever Whatever”
#1 “Til The Cops Come Knockin'”
BONUS! Because why not more – “Lifetime”