Terence Trent D'Arby

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Sananda Maitreya
Birth nameTerence Trent Howard
Also known as
  • Terence Trent D'Arby
  • Sananda Maitreya
Born (1962-03-15) March 15, 1962 (age 57)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
OriginBronx, New York City, New York
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • guitar
  • bass guitar
  • keyboards
  • drums
  • percussion
  • banjo
  • harmonica
  • organ
Years active1984–present

Sananda Francesco Maitreya (born Terence Trent Howard, March 15, 1962), better known by his former stage name Terence Trent D'Arby, is an American singer and songwriter who came to fame with his debut studio album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby (1987). The album included the hit singles "If You Let Me Stay", "Dance Little Sister" "Sign Your Name" and "Wishing Well"; "Wishing Well" became a number one hit.

Early life[edit]

Terence Trent D'Arby was born Terence Trent Howard in Manhattan in 1962.[1] His mother is Frances Howard, a gospel singer,[2] teacher and counselor. She married Bishop James Benjamin Darby, who became his stepfather and raised him, hence "his last name changed and later he completed it with the apostrophe."[1]

He trained as a boxer in Orlando and in 1980 won[3] the Florida Golden Gloves lightweight championship. He received an offer to attend boxing school in the United States Army, but went to college instead. After enrolling at the University of Central Florida, he quit a year later and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was posted at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and then served in the 3rd Armored Division, near Frankfurt, West Germany.[2] He was formally court-martialed and dishonorably discharged by the army in April 1983 after going absent without leave.[4] While in West Germany, he worked as a band leader with the band The Touch, releasing an album of material called Love On Time (1984).[5] It was later re-issued in 1989 as Early Works after his worldwide success as a solo artist. In 1986, he left West Germany for London, where he briefly played with The Bojangles. There he teamed up with producer Howard Gray and signed a recording contract with CBS Records.[6]

Fame as Terence Trent D'Arby[edit]

D'Arby's debut solo album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, released in July 1987, is his best-known commercial work.[5] The album produced hits including "If You Let Me Stay", "Dance Little Sister", "Sign Your Name", and the number one hit "Wishing Well".[7]

D'Arby expressed a high opinion of his debut album, claiming that it was the most important album since the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper.[8] After the comments leaked to US media outlets, he stated that most of what he said was exaggerated, but that it is sometimes necessary to "hit people over the head" to get their attention.[9] The album earned him a Grammy Award in the category Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male (1989)[10] and a BRIT Award for International Breakthrough Act, and he also received Grammy and Soul Train nominations for Best New Artist.[11]

D'Arby's follow-up album was Neither Fish Nor Flesh (1989),[5] which was not as successful as his debut had been.[10] It took four more years and a move to Los Angeles until his next album, Symphony or Damn (1993), was released. The record contained the singles "Delicate" and "She Kissed Me". It peaked at No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart.[5] In 1995, D'Arby released Vibrator, which was followed by a world tour.[5]

D'Arby's music has been included on several movie and television soundtracks. He sang the theme song of 1991's Frankie and Johnny. "Right Thing, Wrong Way" featured prominently in the end credits of Beverly Hills Cop III. "What Shall I Do?" was featured in an episode of the UPN television series Girlfriends. He sang the ending song, "Letting Go", in the 1996 film The Fan. D'Arby's songs were also used in Prêt-à-Porter and the 1995 miniseries The Promised Land.[citation needed]

In 1999, D'Arby collaborated with INXS to replace his friend, the late vocalist Michael Hutchence, so the band could play at the official opening of Stadium Australia (a major venue for the Sydney Olympics).[12]

Later career as Sananda Maitreya[edit]

D'Arby legally changed his name to Sananda Maitreya on October 4, 2001, explaining, "Terence Trent D'Arby was dead... he watched his suffering as he died a noble death. After intense pain I meditated for a new spirit, a new will, a new identity".[13] Maitreya has said that his name change resulted from a series of dreams he had in 1995. Though the name does not have any religious significance, Maitreya explained that he understood it to mean "rebirth" in Sanskrit.[14] However, the name does not mean "rebirth" in Sanskrit; sānanda means "possessed of happiness"[15], while maitreya means "friendly, kind, loving, benevolent".[16]

Maitreya has released the albums Wildcard (2001), Angels & Vampires - Volume I (2005), Angels & Vampires - Volume II (2006), Nigor Mortis: A Critical Mass (2009), The Sphinx (2013), The Rise of the Zugebrian Time Lords (2015),[citation needed] and Prometheus & Pandora (2017). He has also issued four live albums.[17] In 2007, three of his songs were played in Judd Apatow's movie Knocked Up.[citation needed]

Film career[edit]

Maitreya has appeared in two films and in the TV mini-series Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story, in which he played the part of Jackie Wilson.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Maitreya married Italian television host and architect Francesca Francone in 2003.[18] They have two children.[19]


as Terence Trent D’Arby[edit]

as Terence Trent D’Arby/Sananda Maitreya[edit]

as Sananda Maitreya[edit]


as Terence Trent D'Arby

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Biography / Facts & Figures". Sanandamaitreya.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  2. ^ a b Gilmore, Mikal (June 16, 1988). "Can Terence Trent D'Arby Be As Good As He Thinks He Is". Rolling Stone. Issue 528.
  3. ^ "Sananda Maitreya – Bio" (PDF). Sanadamaitreya.com. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  4. ^ Michael Corcoran. In the Ring With Terence Trent D'Arby, Spin June 1988, Vol. 4, No. 3
  5. ^ a b c d e Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 241–242. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  6. ^ Richliano, James (May 28, 1995). "Terence Trent D'Arby: Vibrator". In Newsweekly.
  7. ^ "Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent d'Arby - Terence Trent D'Arby | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  8. ^ Thomas, Stephen (1962-03-15). "Terence Trent D'Arby – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  9. ^ "POP MUSIC : An Enigma Called Terence Trent D'Arby". Los Angeles Times. March 20, 1988.
  10. ^ a b Staff, Parry Gettleman of the Sentinel. "TERENCE TRENT D'ARBY-- GRAMMY WINNER FROM DELAND". OrlandoSentinel.com.
  11. ^ "Throwback: Terence Trent D'Arby-Sign Your Name | | Kick Mag The Urban Eclectic". Kick Mag The Urban Eclectic.
  12. ^ "INXS plan Olympic comeback". BBC News. 1999-05-27. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  13. ^ Greenman, Ben (4 June 2013). "Whatever Happened to Terence Trent D'Arby?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2014-11-25.
  14. ^ "Why Terence Trent D'Arby became Sananda Maitreya: 'It was that or death'". Theguardian.com. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  15. ^ "sananda". Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  16. ^ "maitreya". Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  17. ^ "The Sphinx". Sananda Maitreya. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  18. ^ Greenman, Ben (June 4, 2013). "Whatever Happened to Terence Trent D'Arby?" – via www.newyorker.com.
  19. ^ Lester, Paul (October 5, 2017). "Why Terence Trent D'Arby became Sananda Maitreya: 'It was that or death'" – via www.theguardian.com.

External links[edit]