After eight long years between albums, the veteran soul singer reclaimed his crown, winning two awards (Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Pretty Wings," and Best R&B Album for BLACKsummers'night) at Sunday's Grammy Awards. Indeed, it was a clear indication that, much as his still-rabid fans have shown, people — including the Academy — love a comeback. Since its release in July, the album has sold nearly a million copies in the U.S., a rarity these days, particularly for an artist out of the spotlight for such a spell.
MTV News caught up with Maxwell after the show, where he'd shared the stage with one of his idols, soul icon Roberta Flack, for a rendition of her classic 1971 duet with Donny Hathaway, "Where Is the Love."
"To get Grammys, and to even be included in a community of musicians [like this], it's just such a blessing," he said. "And then to have this wonderful legend, Roberta Flack, come walking out with this song, she's just amazing. I felt like I was suspended in animation. It was really surreal to me to be on that stage."
Sunday's show was particularly impactful for Maxwell, not least because of the long years he spent away from that kind of acclaim and adulation.
"It was nice to actually meet girls that didn't know me, and liked me for me," Maxwell said of that time. "It was awesome to walk down the streets, taking it in, absorbing life again, and that's why the record sounds the way it does. People may have thought I was just doing whatever, but I was working away, and just trying to make something that made me happy musically."
Since BLACKsummers'night was the first in a planned trilogy of albums, the singer revealed he plans to drop the first single from his "Summer" album in November, with the forthcoming album (BlackSUMMERS'night) tentatively set for a Valentine's Day 2011 release.
" 'Summer' is kind of like my dance vibe," he revealed. "It's not my slow-love vibe. It's much more up. It's got a Fela [Kuti] feeling to it, because I love Fela. He, to me, is the African James Brown. And the third album is total bedroom — that's why it's called 'Night.' "
The 2010 Grammy Awards may be over, but MTV News will have much, much more from the show, including reports on your favorite nominees, party photos, behind-the-scenes video and much more from the big show!