Maxi Jazz, the lead singer of the dance group Faithless, has died aged 65.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, the group wrote: “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.”
Faithless, which formed in 1995, comprised core members Rollo, Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz.
Their first album, Reverence, was released in 1996 and the singles Insomnia and Salva Mea each sold more than a million copies.
Their second studio album, Sunday 8PM, released in 1998, featured the global hit God Is A DJ and cemented the group’s standing as a major musical force.
In an Instagram post, the band wrote that the singer “died peacefully in his sleep”.
“He was a brilliant lyricist, DJ, Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius,” the wrote.
“Rest in peace dearest Max. 1957 – 2022 and thank you Faithless family for all the love you showed us over the years. Please look after each other, y’hear ?? as Max would always say.”
The 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-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.”
UB40 said: “A lovely guy, again who has gone too soon, but finally Maxi you can get some sleep. R.I.P Maxi Big Love UB40.”
DJ MistaJam 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 @thesisterbliss and the whole @faithless family. Rest in Power Maxi Jazz.”
Ritchie Neville, from boy band 5ive, said: “We’ve lost an icon of our time.” He said he was heartbroken and that his teenage years had been blessed “with one of the best house tunes ever”, courtesy of the musician. He added: “Time to sleep legend. Thank you for inspiring.”
Crystal Palace football club said they were “mourning the loss of legendary musician” adding that the team “will walk out to Faithless on Boxing Day in tribute”.