Maxi Jazz, the main singer of the British electronic dance band Faithless, passed away at the age of 65. Jazz died yesterday, according to a Facebook post from the band today (Dec. 24). No cause of death was given, although the band stated that he died “peacefully” in a subsequent Instagram post.
“We are really saddened to report that Maxi Jazz died last night. He was a man who influenced our lives in a variety of ways. “He gave our music proper significance and message,” the tribute starts. “He was also a great human being with time for everyone and insight that was both profound and approachable. Working with him was an honour and, of course, a great joy.”
Faithless bandmates Rollo and Sister Bliss sign the post, which praises the vocalist as “a superb lyricist, a DJ, a Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car enthusiast, endless talker, gorgeous person, moral compass, and genius.”
Jazz, who was born Maxwell Fraser in 1957, began his career as a DJ in 1984, when he founded the Soul Food Cafe System. Faithless began in London in 1995 and soon after published their critically acclaimed debut, Reverance, which featured the smash songs “Insomnia” and “Salva Mea.” It sold one million copies and was extremely successful in Europe, where it was certified gold or platinum in many countries.
Faithless was recognised for its anti-war, anti-immigration, and anti-poverty protest songs, as well as a diverse sound that blended trance, house, and hip-hop. Dido Armstrong, the sister of Faithless member Rollo Armstrong, recorded some of her early vocals on the group’s tracks before becoming a solo artist.
Faithless’ hot run continued in 1998 with the track “God Is a DJ,” which helped the band get a nomination for Best British Dance Act at the 1999 Brit Awards.
Jazz’s last album with Faithless was 2010’s The Dance, and he left in 2015 to lead Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys. In 2020, Sister Bliss and Rollo published All Blessed as Faithless.