The move marks the award-winning singer-songwriter-producer’s first new label partnership after his 25-year career with Columbia Records. “I’m looking forward to this next chapter and new partnership with my label Musze/BMG and all that we can accomplish together,” said Maxwell in a release announcing the news. “The sky is the limit!” Tim Reid, BMG senior vp, repertoire & marketing, recorded music, added, “Maxwell is an iconic creator of culture, and we’re pleased to enter into a partnership with him and Musze Inc. We look forward to being an integral part of the expansion of his artistry and brand moving forward.”
Added BMG president, repertoire & marketing, New York and Los Angeles Thomas Scherer, “Throughout his career, Maxwell has continually and thoughtfully raised the bar in his craft. He is central to what the team is building and accomplishing in BMG’s R&B and hip-hop repertoire. Welcome Maxwell … you’re very much a part of our family now, and we’re excited to help write the future chapters of your success.”
Maxwell, who will be presented with the Legend Award at the Soul Train Awards later this month, launched his professional recording career in 1996 with debut album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. The critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated album, which is certified two-times platinum, spun off the hits “Ascension” and “Sumthin’ Sumthin’,” certified platinum and gold, respectively.
Further cementing his role as a foundational building block of the ’90s neo-soul sound, Maxwell released platinum albums Embrya in 1998 and Now in 2001. The latter project became his first to reach number one on the Billboard 200. His fourth consecutive platinum album, BLACKsummers’night, followed in 2009. Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the first installment of his musical trilogy won two Grammy Awards, including Best R&B album. Fifth studio album blackSUMMERS’night arrived in 2016. In addition to winning the Grammy for Best R&B song with the album’s single “Lake By the Ocean,” Maxwell received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Male Artist and a Soul Train Award for Best R&B/Soul Male Artist on behalf of the album.
All told, Maxwell has sold 7.4 million albums in the U.S., according to MRC Data. Closing in on the 1 billion mark, his songs have collectively registered 998.8 million U.S. on-demand streams.
BMG, whose R&B/hip-hop roster includes Ledisi, India.Arie, Keyshia Cole and Anthony Hamilton, also recently signed 5 Seconds of Summer.