Gerald Maxwell Rivera (born May 23, 1973), better known by the mononym Maxwell, is an American R&B artist. He played an important role in the development of the soul sub-genre, neo-soul. Maxwell was born in Brooklyn, New York.
Maxwell began working with songwriter Leon Ware and noted guitarist Wah Wah Watson to record his debut "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" which was released in 1996. It sold over 2,000,000 copies, earning 2X platinum status, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Maxwell's second studio album, "Embrya," was released in 1998. The following year, Maxwell released "Fortunate", a single written by R. Kelly and featured on the soundtrack for the 1999 film "Life." The single peaked at number one on Billboard magazine's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart.
To date, "Fortunate" is Maxwell's most successful single and was Billboard's number one R&B single of 1999. "Now," Maxwell's third album, was released in 2001, becoming his first No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 album chart and Billboard's R&B album chart. It featured the hit singles "Lifetime" and a studio version of the Kate Bush song "This Woman's Work."
After taking several years off, Maxwell released his latest album "BLACKsummers'night" on July 7, 2009. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Albums Top 200 chart, his second album to receive that ranking. Maxwell received six nominations for the 2010 Grammy Awards, including "Best R&B Album" for "BLACKsummers'night" and "Best Male R&B Vocal Performance" for "Pretty Wings." "Pretty Wings" was nominated for the "Song of the Year" which was written by Maxwell under his publishing moniker Musze.