Faithless Vocalist Maxi Jazz Passes Away, Aged 65

28 December 2022 | 8:38 am | Mary Varvaris

"He gave proper meaning and a message to our music."

(Source: Supplied)

Maxi Jazz, real name Maxwell Fraser, the vocalist of the highly influential group Faithless, has passed away peacefully in his sleep, aged 65, the band revealed on social media.

Taking to Instagram, the dance music pioneers wrote, "We are heartbroken to say Maxi Jazz 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 also a lovely human being with time for everyone and a wisdom that was both profound and accessible."

The band added, "It was an honour and, of course, a true pleasure to work with him. He was a brilliant lyricist, DJ, Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius. Rest in peace dearest Max."

The English band was formed in 1995 with Jazz, Rollo, and Sister Bliss. Their first album, Reverence, followed an abundance of genres, including reggae, hip-hop, folk, house, and classical music. Reverence immediately saw Faithless sell out venues across the UK. 

Their next album, the Mercury Prize-nominated Sunday8PM, contained the worldwide phenomenon, God Is A DJ.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Faithless's third album, Outrospective, again brought the band to new heights, featuring the hit single We Come 1 and performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2002.

No Roots, their 2004 fourth album, contained the hit protest song Dave Grohl famously wished he wrote, Mass Destruction.

Maxi Jazz was the lead vocalist for Faithless from 1995 to 2011.

The singer was a renowned enthusiast of cars and followed the Crystal Palace soccer team. In tribute to Jazz, the club walked out to the Faithless tune, Insomnia, on their Boxing Day match.

Broadcaster Phil Williams wrote about Jazz on Twitter: "Really saddened to hear of Maxi Jazz’s death. Had an amazing lost night with him once which ended the morning after. He was kind, gentle and really funny. I loved watching him live, he was an amazing frontman."

Grammy-nominated producer and writer Jono Grant also paid tribute, writing: "RIP the legend that was Maxi Jazz. Such a unique voice in music."

Record label Rough Trade called Jazz "Dance music's poet" in a tribute and added, "Rest in peace Maxi Jazz, lead singer of British dance act Faithless. Thank you for your pivotal role in the world of British electronica. Our thoughts are with Faithless and his family and friends".