Priest performing in January 2011
|Birth name||Max Alfred Elliott|
10 June 1961 |
Lewisham, London, England
|Genres||Reggae, reggae fusion, Lovers rock|
Max Alfred "Maxi" Elliot (born 10 June 1961) is a British reggae vocalist of Jamaican descent. He is best known for singing reggae music with an R&B influence, otherwise known as reggae fusion, and became one of the first international successes who regularly dabbled in the genre and one of the most successful reggae fusion acts of all-time.
Maxi Priest was born in Lewisham, London. His parents moved to England from Jamaica to provide more opportunity for their family and he grew up listening to gospel, reggae, R&B, and pop music. His music is sometimes closer to R&B, and pop, than to reggae music itself. His cousin, Jacob Miller, a reggae icon, was the frontman in the popular reggae group Inner Circle. Priest has two sons, Ryan and Marvin. Ryan was a member of the boy band Ultimate Kaos in the 1990s. Marvin is also a singer and currently lives in Australia. On 25 February 2011 he released his breakthrough debut single, "Own This Club", which peaked at No. 6 in Australia and was certified double platinum.
Priest's musical career began with him singing on the South London reggae soundsystem Saxon Studio International, after which some independent single releases followed. His first major album was the self-titled Maxi Priest (1988) which, along with his cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World", established him as one of the top British reggae singers.
He is one of only two British reggae acts (along with UB40) to have an American Billboard number one: "Close to You" in 1990. A duet with Roberta Flack, "Set the Night to Music", reached the American Top Ten in 1991. His duet with Shaggy in 1996, "That Girl", was also a hit in the United States, peaking at number twenty.
In the latter half of his recording career, Priest has favoured working alongside other artists, both established and up-and-coming. He has worked with Sly & Robbie, Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Jazzie B, Apache Indian, Roberta Flack, Shurwayne Winchester, Shabba Ranks and Lee Ritenour.
It was reported in some newspapers in the Birmingham area, including the Birmingham Mail on 13 March 2008, that Priest would be replacing Ali Campbell as the new lead singer of UB40, and that he had recorded a cover of Bob Marley’s "I Shot the Sheriff" with the band, based on information from "an unnamed source close to the band." Priest had joined UB40 on tour in 2007, culminating in sell-out shows at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Solihull in December. Another local newspaper, the Express & Star that had reported that Priest would be the new UB40 frontman, included a statement from band spokesman Gerard Franklyn which contradicted the claim, stating: "Maxi is collaborating with the band to record material but he won't be the new lead singer, that will be Duncan Campbell, the brother of Ali and Robin Campbell. He will only be appearing with them for this new recording."
In 2012, Maxi Priest recorded a cover of Japanese band L'arc~en~Ciel's song "Vivid Colors" for the band's English-language tribute album.
- Intentions (1986) #96 UK
- Maxi Priest (1988) #108 US; #25 UK
- Bonafide (1990) #47 U.S.; #11 UK
- Fe Real (1992) #191 U.S.; #60 UK
- Man with the Fun (1996) #108 US
- CombiNation (1999)
- 2 the Max (2005)
- Refused (2007)
|"In the Springtime"||-||-||-||54||You're Safe|
|1987||"Let Me Know"||-||-||-||49|
|"Woman in You"||-||-||-||-|
|"Some Guys Have All the Luck"||-||-||-||12|
|1989||"Wild World"||25||-||-||5||Maxi Priest|
|1990||"Human Work of Art"||-||-||-||71||Bonafide|
|"Close to You"||1||2||15||7|
|"Just a Little Bit Longer"||62||30||-||62|
|1991||"Space in My Heart"||-||76||-||-|
|"Set the Night to Music" (with Roberta Flack)||6||45||2||-||Set the Night to Music (Roberta Flack)|
|1992||"Groovin' in the Midnight"||63||29||-||50||Fe Real|
|1993||"One More Chance"||-||77||-||40|
|1996||"That Girl" (with Shaggy)||20||34||-||15||Man with the Fun|
|"Watching the World Go By"||-||-||-||36|
|2009||"2 Play feat Maxi Priest - That's what the girls like (Sam Young & Jack Black Mix)"||-||-||-||-|
Maxi played for Non-League football club Southall, his son Marvin's team, in March 2003 when they needed players to fulfill a fixture due to an injury crisis at the club. However despite coming on as a substitute at the age of 43, he could not stop Southall from losing 3-0 to Chalfont St Peter A.F.C..
- Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Birth Index: 1916–2005 [database on-line]. Provo, Utah, US: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.
- Snowden, Don (21 February 1991). "Reggae's Maxi Priest Wins Mainstream Favor : Pop music: The British singer adds an R&B flavor to the Jamaican sound. He and his band play San Diego and Long Beach this weekend.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Birmingham Post: Maxi Priest is new singer with UB40
- Birmingham Mail: Maxi Priest to join UB40
- Maxi Priest is new UB40 frontman, Express and Star, 14 March 2008.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 438. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "BBC SPORT | Fun and Games | Priest cannot save Southall". BBC News. 2003-03-23. Retrieved 2012-12-19.