Maxi Priest PhotoMax Elliot
BORN: 1962, London, England

Born in Max Elliot in Manchester, England in 1962, Maxi Priest changed his name when he converted to Rastafarianism. He stumbled into a career in reggae when he was discovered while building sound systems. Since then, Maxi Priest has become one of the '80s great crossover success stories, making chart-toppers on both sides of the Atlantic. A pleasant, easygoing vocal manner coupled with a sexy stage presence have yielded consistent hits -- including a cover of "Some Guys Have All the Luck" in 1987, Cat Stevens' "Wild World" in 1988. Though he initially sang straight, ultra-slick lovers rock, the '90s have found him dabbling in dancehall with impressive results. In 1990, he scored a number one pop hit in the U.S. with "I Just Want to Be Close to You" and a Top 10 with "Set the Night to Music," a duet with Roberta Flack. Man With the Fun, released in 1996, contained another hit, "That Girl," featuring Shaggy. So What If It Rains was issued in 1999, followed by CombiNation later that year. ~ Roger Steffens, All Music Guide