FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Before there was OMI with “Cheerleader”…. there was Maxi Priest!
Born Max Elliott in London in 1960 (some sources say 1961 or even 1962), he was the eighth of nine children of Jamaican parents. He got his start singing in live dancehall shows. He signed with Virgin Records in 1985 and released his first song, “Wild World.” His fans started calling him “King Of Lovers Rock” due to his singing style and in 1990 had a #1 hit on Billboard called “Close To You.” Later he teamed up with Robert Flack with the song “Set The Night To Music” which hit #6 on the charts in 1991. But it would be another five years before he had a hit on the American Top 40 charts. His ability to sing with a “lovers rock” and reggae style was hugely successful for him, although some consider his style more R&B and pop.
The song featured today is one that aired on many American CHR radio stations (Top 40 mainstream or rhythmic) and what introduced me to this talented individual. It finished at #20 in the summer of 1996. It has an underlying, consistent music theme and beat that sounds like Booker T. Jones (of Booker T. & The MG’s) was one of the musicians performing his 1962 hit, “Green Onions.” I like the song so much I bought the album, “Man With The Fun.” From 1996… Maxi Priest featuring Shaggy… “That Girl.”