Maxwell is an R&B neo-soul singer who was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1973. Maxwell is actually the singer's middle name, but he has kept his first and last name private in order to protect his family. His father died in a plane crash while visiting family in Puerto Rico when Maxwell was three.

Maxwell's musical career started when he was young as he'd perform in the Baptist church where his mother directed the choir. At 17, he began to write tracks and was able to get a deal with Columbia Records in 1994 at the age of 21.

Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, his debut album, was recorded in 1994 with the help of writer Leon Ware and guitarist Wah Wah Watson. However, Columbia put the album on the shelves until 1996 because they feared it wouldn't have much commercial success. Despite Columbia's doubts, the album eventually went double platinum, with its hit single "Ascension" reaching #8 on the R&B charts, #36 on the Hot 100 and going gold. The album had two other singles "Til The Cops Come Knockin" and "Sumthin Sumthin" which reached #79 and #23 on the R&B charts respectively.

In 1997, Maxwell did an episode of MTV Unplugged in New York City. He did many of his own songs, and also did covers, including "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush. However, there was disagreement about what should be done with the recordings from the concert and so, his label only released an EP of the show with seven songs.

Embrya, Maxwell's second album came out in 1998. It went platinum, and likely was helped by the success of the track "Fortunate." "Fortunate" was penned by R. Kelly and, while not on the Embrya album, came out as a single for the soundtrack to the movie Life and topped the R&B charts and reached #4 on the Hot 100.

In 2001, Maxwell released his third album, Now. The album had success with its single "Lifetime" which reached #5 on the R&B charts and "This Woman's Work" which reached #16. The album went platinum.

Maxwell currently has ambitious plans for 2008. Over three years, he seeks to release a trilogy of albums titled Black, Summers and Night respectively. The albums are to be released in 2008, 2009 and 2010 subsequently.