Maxi Jazz, the lead singer of dance group Faithless, has died at 65.
Announcing his death on Facebook, the group said: “We are heartbroken to say Maxi Jazz died last night. 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.”
Sister Bliss, the group’s keyboardist, said on Twitter: “Sending love to all of you who shared our musical journey. Look after each other y’hear.”
No cause of death has been given.
Faithless formed in 1995 and is perhaps best known for its trance hits Insomnia, God Is A DJ and We Come 1.
They have headlined some of the biggest festivals in the world, including Glastonbury, and have often been seen as political in nature.
The group has released seven albums, with their most recent being 2020’s All Blessed, and been nominated for two Brit Awards.
Born Maxwell Fraser in Brixton in 1957, Jazz went on to have an illustrious music career, both with Faithless and as a solo artist.
He also fronted Maxi Jazz and the E-Type Boys, playing guitar and singing lead vocals, frequently performing at festivals alongside Faithless.
They also toured with UB40, who said on Twitter: “A lovely guy, again who has gone too soon, but finally Maxi you can get some sleep.”
During his career, he also collaborated with the likes of Tiesto, Jamiroquai and Robbie Williams.
As well as his music, he was also a lifelong supporter of Crystal Palace FC, and in 2012 became an associate director of the club.
The club paid tribute, saying: “We are mourning the loss of legendary musician Maxi Jazz, who has passed away at the age of 65.
“The team will walk out to Faithless on Boxing Day in tribute.”
Jazz was also into motor racing and occasionally would take part in races.
In 2001, he was involved in a crash, which meant some Faithless tour dates had to be postponed.
DJ Dave Pearce added his tributes, writing on Twitter: “So sad to learn Maxi Jazz has passed away. Faithless were an iconic force in UK dance music from the mid 90s 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, the radio presenter and DJ, said: “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. Love to The Sister Bliss and the whole Faithless family.
“Rest in Power Maxi Jazz.”