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Frankie Beverly (born Howard Beverly, December 6, 1946) is an American singer, musician, songwriter, and producer, known primarily for his recordings with the soul and funk band Maze. Beverly formed Maze, originally called Raw Soul, in his hometown of Philadelphia in 1970. After a relocation to San Francisco and an introduction to Marvin Gaye, Maze went on to release nine Gold albums and create a large and devoted following. Beverly is the band's writer, producer and lead singer. He is known for his distinctive smooth baritone voice and charismatic stage presence.
|Birth name||Howard Beverly|
|Born||December 6, 1946|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Genres||R&B, soul, funk|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, record producer, musician|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano|
|Associated acts||The Blenders, The Butlers, Maze|
Early life and careerEdit
Beverly started out singing gospel music in church as a schoolboy in Philadelphia.
As a teenager he formed The Blenders, a short-lived a cappella, doo-wop group that were influenced by The Dells, The Moonglows, and The Del Vikings. After that outfit dissolved, he founded The Butlers (subsequently Frankie Beverly and the Butlers), which would be the first group he recorded with in 1963. In 1967, he cut "If that's what you wanted", which became a northern soul standard. As time passed, they caught the attention of the record producer Kenny Gamble, who eventually released recordings by the group.
It turned out that music performed by The Butlers did not fit into the "Philly Sound", and after some heavy touring, the group relocated to California. The unit was re-christened as Raw Soul and caught the attention of a sister-in-law to Marvin Gaye. Gaye featured them as an opening act at his shows, and also convinced Beverly to change the band's name to Maze.
The group's popularity was enhanced considerably in the UK by DJs Greg Edwards and Robbie Vincent in the late 1970s and early 1980s when they performed live at London's Lyceum Ballroom for broadcast on Capital Radio. They are best known there for their UK #57 hit single, "Joy and Pain".
Beverly's onstage attire (all-white custom designed and made, casual clothing, including slacks, long-sleeved shirt, and a baseball cap) has become his signature dress style over the years.
His son, Anthony, who has toured as a drummer with Maze, organized a tribute in 2009 to his father, founding the record label Brantera, as an homage to the work of Maze. Mary J. Blige, Kenny Edmonds (Babyface) and Mint Condition were among the artists taking part on the album.