Maxi Jazz, front man for British band Faithless, dead at 65

NEW YORK (AP) — Maxi Jazz, a DJ and singer who fronted the eclectic British dance band Faithless known for such hits as “Insomnia” and “We Come 1,” has died. He was 65.

Faithless announced his death on social media Saturday, saying he “died peacefully in his sleep last night.”

“He was a man who changed our lives in so many ways. He gave proper meaning and a message to our music. He was a lovely human being with time for everyone and wisdom that was both profound and accessible,” the band’s statement reads.

Additional details about his death were not immediately available.

Born Maxwell Fraser in London, Maxi Jazz emerged in the British club scene in the 1980s as a DJ on pirate radio and founder of the Soul Food Cafe System. He later formed Faithless along with producer-instrumentalist-DJ Rollo Armstrong, keyboardist-DJ Sister Bliss and singer-songwriter Jamie Cotto. They drew upon such a wide range of influences that their record company described their debut album “Reverence,” released in 1996, as “folk-house-hip-hop-blues-ambience-jazz-rap for the dance floor and sofa.”

“Reverence” did not catch on initially, but eventually gained a wide following; the band went on to global popularity through its dynamic stage performances and albums including “Outrospective” and the greatest hits collection “Forever Faithless.”

Faithless broke up in 2011, but reunited recently, without Jazz, who had since formed Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys.

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