There aren't many reggae artists who can say that their music has crossed over into R&B not once, but several times. But Maxwell Elliot, better known as Maxi Priest, can easily claim that status. His 1990 song "Close to You," marks only the second time that a British reggae act has scored #1 on the American Billboard charts.
But that was not a one-shot-deal for the singer, who first made his name on the streets of London with the Saxon International Sound System, one of the leading entities in the creation of "Lover's Rock," a distinctive style of reggae originating from British-born Jamaicans and their offspring.
Priest's recordings of "Crazy Love," remake of Cat Stevens' "Wild World," and his duet with Roberta Flack, "Set the Night to Music," also consolidated his recognition factor on this side of the pond. His 1996 duet with Shaggy, "That Girl," became a club favorite and his albums "Bonafide" and "Fe Real" climbed the American charts.
Priest is still rockin' the reggae with a new release, "Nothing But Trouble," in the wings. His U.S. tour will bring him to the Howard Theatre at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Tickets, which are $27 in advance and $30 day of the show, can be purchased online at thehowardtheatre.com/show/2012/11/28/maxi-priest or at the Howard Theatre Box Office.