Maxi Jazz, the British musician best known as the lead vocalist for dance group Faithless, has died, according to the band.
The band announced Jazz’s passing in a Facebook post on Saturday. The singer, born Maxwell Fraser, was 65 years old. He died peacefully in his sleep on Friday night, according to Faithless’ Twitter.
“We are heartbroken to say Maxi Jazz died last night,” wrote the band on its verified Facebook account. “He was a man who changed our lives in so many ways. He gave proper meaning and message to our music.”
“He was also a lovely human being with time for everyone and a wisdom that was both profound and accessible,” the post goes on. “It was an honour and, of course, a true pleasure to work with him.”
“He was a brilliant lyricist, a DJ, a Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius.”
Jazz was a lifelong fan of British soccer club Crystal Palace and even became the team’s associate director in 2012, according to a statement from the club. To honor his life, the team will walk out to a song by Faithless on Boxing Day on Monday, according to the statement.
Jazz formed Faithless with bandmates Jamie Catto, Rollo, and Sister Bliss in 1995. The band achieved acclaim for iconic songs like the 90s dance anthem “Insomnia” and “God is a DJ.” They also performed at Britain’s Glastonbury Festival four times, according to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Musicians and fans alike paid tribute to the artist after his death. “Rest In Poetry,” wrote London Elektricity, a drum and bass DJ and co-founder of Hospital Records, on Instagram on Saturday alongside an image of Jazz. British singer Rowetta and Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren also posted tributes to the musician.
“Your voice & your music will live on forever,” wrote British DJ duo CamelPhat on Twitter. “From nightclub to festival you brought a whole new dynamic to the dancefloor. A proper inspiration to us all.”
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