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Maxi Priest

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Born 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 became one of the great crossover success stories of the '80s, 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 and Cat Stevens' "Wild World" in 1988. Though he initially sang straight, ultra-slick lovers rock, the '90s 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 Ten 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. Roger Steffens

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