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Faithless frontman Maxi Jazz has died at the age of 65

Confirming his death, Maxi Jazz' bandmates hailed him as a 'beautiful person' and a 'genius'

By Nick Reilly

Faithless' Maxi Jazz

Faithless frontman Maxi Jazz has died aged 65, it’s been confirmed.

In a statement shared to social media, his bandmates Rollo and Sister Bliss hailed the singer as a “beautiful person” and a “genius”.

“We are heartbroken to say Maxi Jazz died last night,” they wrote. “He was a man who changed our lives in so many ways. He gave proper meaning and message to our music.

“He was a lovely human being with time for everyone and a wisdom that was both profound and accessible. 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.”

A cause of death for the singer, born Maxwell Fraser, is yet to be confirmed.

Posting on Twitter, Sister Bliss added that Maxi had “died peacefully in his sleep” and added: “Sending love to all of you who shared our musical journey. Look after each other y’hear.”

Jazz was born in Brixton, South London, in 1957 and his musical beginnings came about when he started DJing as The Soul Food Cafe System in 1984, with the group signing to Tam Tam Records in 1989. They went on to support the likes of Jamiroquai and Soul II Soul at live shows.

He formed Faithless with Rollo and Sister Bliss in 1995, with the group releasing their debut album Reverance just one year later. It featured the group’s biggest hit ‘Insomnia’, which is considered to be one of the greatest dance tracks of all time.

Further success came when the 1998 follow-up album Sunday 8PM was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, featuring the hit single ‘God Is A DJ’ and earning the group a nomination for the BRIT Award for Best British Dance Act in 1999.

They also played a major Glastonbury Festival slot in 2002, while their greatest hits album Forever Faithless went four times platinum and became the best-selling dance album of 2005.

Paying tribute, DJ Dave Pearce said: “So sad to learn Maxi Jazz has passed away. Faithless were an iconic force in UK dance music from the mid 90’s and touched so many lives. Throughout their meteoric rise to fame Maxi remained a warm, cool, friendly soul – dance music’s poet- thoughts with his family and friends RIP.”

Mistajam added: “I only met him IRL once and he was the kindest man with such an aura about him. His words and performances touched so many of us and he’ll be sorely missed.”

Jazz was also an ardent fan of Crystal Palace FC, becoming an associate director of the football club in 2012.

The premier league club said the musician was a regular at Selhurst Park, and confirmed the team would walk out to Faithless on Boxing Day in tribute to the late singer.