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Maxwell Shocks, Awes and Delights at BET Awards

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Last night was extremely trying on a sista. A glutton for punishment, I agreed to live-blog the BET Awards '08 knowing full well that I would have to subject myself to random acts of ignorance and my people behaving--and performing--badly. It's nothing new, that's just how BET rolls. No matter how hard they try, they just can't get it right. Still, people, including yours truly, continue to watch the channel (although many won't admit it) through our side-eyes hoping, wishing and praying that BET steps their game up. Last night was almost that night. Unfortunately, it took a full two hours into the program to get to that moment.

Sure, prior to the 10 o'clock hour, performances by Ne-Yo and Alicia Keys, who brought back the girl groups of the '90s--SWV, En Vogue and TLC--to join her on stage, were good, just not great. Today people are more apt to talk about how much weight Coko and her girls gained as opposed to how they sounded. Nostalgic heads such as myself, ate the reunions up nonetheless. It was a treat for our eyes and ears for these quality acts of yesteryear to take the stage once again.

But before, in between and after those decent performances was a hodge podge of hot messiness that almost led me to throw in the towel before finishing my live-blogging duties. But I had to hang in there because I knew that my girl Jill Scott would be performing in the Al Green tribute. That was enough to make me stick around, and I'm so glad that I did. Although it wasn't because I was waiting for a stellar performance from Jill, because I didn't get it. Something was off about Ms. Philadelphia last night. Thank goodness Anthony Hamilton came in to save the day because he sounded great on the song that he sang, and it's no wonder with his Green-esque throwback sound. He was a joy to watch. But I was ill prepared for who was to come next. I don't remember hearing MC Lyte speak his name during the opening credits, so it was truly a shock in every sense of the word when the final artist to take hold of the mic in the Al Green tribute strode on stage: Maxwell.

The live-blog didn't accurately capture what was happening at the moment when that man came on my television screen for the first time in years. But to recap, this is what I was able to write at the time:

10:08   OHMYFREAKINGGOD! IT'S MAXWELL!!!! I can't type and scream at the same time!!!!

10:10   MAXWELL IS "SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL"!!!

10:11   I think I just had an orgasm.

10:12   
I have no idea what Al Green just said. Sorry, folks. Maxwell made me
mess myself. Sweet Jesus on the cross I was not ready for that. I LOVE
YOU, BET! I take back every bad thing I've ever said about you.

10:14   I'm gonna need a medic.

Truth be told, I'm still a little shook. I was so not expecting that last night--or any night for that matter. With the relatively low profile that Maxwell has kept over the past few years, his cryptic MySpace messages and one pitifully short snippet of new music since 2001, its been hard to be a Maxwell fan of late. Prior to last night, many had written him off. But not us here at SBHQ. We've been holding out for our musical hero, and he finally blessed us with this "Simply Beautiful" surprise.

Dressed in a tailored gray suit, crisp white shirt and designer sunglasses, Maxwell took to the stage at the Shrine Auditorium and made Al's "Simply Beautiful" his own. He sounded as good as I remembered him sounding and, despite no longer rocking his once-signature fro of curls, he looked as fine as ever. And not only was his performance of the Al Green classic pitch perfect, but his stage presence was incredible. Maxwell exuded pure, unadulterated sex appeal, especially when he told no one in particular to take off her dress but to leave on the pumps. I'm sure there were a number of women across the country standing in their living rooms with nothing but their heels on after he made that command. Lord knows I was contemplating it.

If there was ever any doubt (and admittedly I've had them myself) that Maxwell was coming back, this was his public declaration that he is here and here to stay. Mark my words, when he comes back full throttle with his new album and concert tour, he will shut the game down. All these R&B and soul cats--many of whom I love, mind you--will just have to fall back and let the man regain his throne. Don't ever wonder, indeed. 

BET will undoubtedly snatch this and other videos offline, but don't despair because the footage is available on the BET.com for those who slept, or more than likely changed the channel. Enjoy these flicks of Maxwell from last night as well.

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[Photos: Kevin Winter/Getty Images & John Shearer/WireImage]


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  • Madame Z

    You gonna give me a heart attack before I leave work, eh? *screams*
    I. LOVE. THIS. MAN.
    That is all.
    :)

  • Ola

    I was screaming like a groupie. My daughters were so scared becasue I almost lost it when Maxwell came on stage. That Man is so sexy, I can't wait for his album to come out. He is indeed going to shut things dowm. I am already envisioning myself on the front rows of his next concert tour.

  • http://songsinthekeyoflife.wordpress.com Vivrant Thang

    Yea the performance did make you envision yourself seeing him in concert! I've been singing "Simply Beautiful" all day long. Ha!
    I tell you, I can't think of too many artists that can fall WAY back like he did and come back for a 3-min performance and cause this much excitement.
    We know you're reading! So Max, if you were just testing the waters, no worries. Seems like you'll be able to pick up where you left off! But don't leave us hanging too long!!!

  • http://www.mannywallace.com Emanuel

    I know at least five ladies that told me the same "I think I just had an orgasm" story. Maxwell is the man no doubt..I need to figure how to have this sort of effect on the ladies. During the actual performance I was on the phone so I didn't get a chance to hear any of them. I'm sure I can catch them on YouTube eventually.
    Good post.

  • nOvaMatic

    Maxwell is everything every man should be. Period.

  • http://myspace.com/maxwell_thelatestnews lmn

    he did his thing indeed!! he poured hot sauce all over us and really made us feel it! :)

  • TEE

    I have been a Maxwell devotee 4 albums ago, . he has never, ever, ever , disappointed. so when the most delectable , embodiment of what a man should be slided on stge he owned it! i got to my feet, thanked the lord and stared unblinkingly until the end of his presence (his essence is more than musical. ) unashamedly i have used john legend as my "just in"(just in case maxwelll does not come back), but now the real man is back! there is a GOD!(AND HE GAVE US MAXWELL!)

  • Jennifer

    I'm STILL having orgasmic vibrations off of Maxwell's surprise appearance! He sounded good and looked delicioso! Mmmmmmm, the things I'd do to that man if he were my sex slave....mmmmmmmm

  • love

    the goosebumps that this man gives...it's just not normal. simply beautiful indeed....indeed!

  • stoneyisland

    Maxwell is one of the most talented cats around period. Alot of cats could learn alot from the brother, not only can he sing but he has stage presence, one thing though is Maxwell the same dude who played clareance the so fine on a different world? :) I mean i'm just asking..................................

  • http://blackkool.blogspot.com/ Danielle

    Damn, Damn, Damn! It is so good to see him again. Still lovely, classy and talented. Welcome Back Maxwell! We missed you.

  • http://www.loveselfentirely.com Cynthia

    I'm with you on the orgasmic part. He brought that 'ish down!
    I'm so happy, I miss him and he sounded wonderful and he looked nice!

  • http://www.thatgirlonthego.blogspot.com asha fka thatchick

    right now butta, you are my bestest friend. thank you SOOOOO much.

  • http://www.hunyyoung.com huny

    a few months before urban hang suite came out my dad got put on to maxwell. I don't recall how, but he had an advance of the CD. and as much as a teenager is capable (read: MAJORLY), I fell in love with that man, even before I knew he was gorgeous. I told my dad back then, way back in '96, "I am going to marry maxwell one day". from then on, my dad called maxwell his son-in-law. true story.

  • http://www.Soul-Sanctuary.net Stephanie Renee

    I don't have cable, so I couldn't witness this live, but thank God for YouTube!!!
    I feel about this performance the exact same way I felt when Phil Perry sang at the SoulTracks awards in Detroit last year. SHOW THESE NO TALENT MOFOS HOW IT'S DONE, DAMMIT!!! And there wasn't a lot of on-stage hoopla. No pyrotechnics. No buttnekkid dancers. Just talent, y'all. Just talent.
    He betta get that CD working fasssssssttttt! ;-}

  • http://www.signetartsdesign.com Christina

    My Lord, my Lord!!!! I was sitting on pins and needles waiting for his performance. Once he showed his face, I almost passed out. That man makes you want to take a Voyage to Atlantis. lol Mmmmmm, mmm, mmmm, oooooh lawdy! I love my Maxwell. I never gave up hope on him and continued to check up throughout the years. I'm so glad we have a new performance to enjoy! He is going to blow the minds of these young-ins that think they've heard real R&B with his new CD.

  • mrs b

    What was the purpose of him holding his weenie??

  • nico

    AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
    Thank you Butta, thank you Jesus and thank you Maxwell!

  • http://invisible-cinema.blogspot.com invisiblewoman

    Girl you killed it with the live blogging! I was laughing like a crack head in the middle of the night--haha!

  • cassie

    The Maxwell commentary is da bomb! I feel your pain. No dress and pumps in every living room across the country, in unisom no doubt. The visualization of that is mind boggling, side splittingly hilarious. In a catch phrase by the man himself, simply beautiful.

  • http://thecoloredsection.blogspot.com bee easy

    I am still reeling from the performance.
    Your post just about sums it all up for me. When he came on, don't you know I was on the floor right underneath my TV with my legs crossed tombout "He so dreamy..." And when he said take that dress off, I lost it. And post-coital bliss ensued. :)

  • http://bootyandfeet.com miles

    Haha, funny comments; but yes... i really enjoyed Maxwell's performance; I didn't expect that either; I'm not even into R&B all that much either ... but I gotta give ya boy Big Props for showing out.

  • Tamika

    Yes, God Yes! I love this man. The way he sang simply beautiful...made me feel simply beautiful. He's still got it. I was surprised to see he married, but that's okay. He is still the only man I'll leave my husband for. The photo of him holding his crotch takes me back to one of his last concerts in which he had on white pants and performed and all the while there was a red laser dot on his crotch...just following his every move. Phew! Now I think I just had an orgasm! This man is HAWWTT to death! I pulled out NOW just to get a lil' taste of what I know is coming in 2010 and YES, I can't wait for it.

  • DEB iVERSON

    max is and always will be "simply beautiful

  • Akilah

    and this is so sad, on Sat. JULY 12, I got to see Mr. Maxwell on the BET awards show. I missed the live performance and was just scrolling thru the guide when I saw there was an encore performance of the awards show. Well, of course I had to DVR it and have been rewinding and fast forwarding ever since. I know my husband is tired of hearing it, but he ought to be glad I did. After 24 yrs of marriage, sometimes it takes a Mr. Maxwell to get the damn engine running. And indeed he did!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/group?gid=22349903744&ref=mf teemoni

    wat can i say absolute genius! thot i wasnt hearing right when his name was mentioned and when he stepped on stage i said no cant b but as soon as he opened his mouth, i was like yes its him alright and he hasnt lost it either! am a great fan of maxwell (even opened a group called "we demand a new album from maxwell" on facebook....pls join!). best performance of the awards by a long mile.

  • bonnie

    I am so happy that my man did this, he is fiine as ever. Maxwell has been missing to alot of people but not me his #1 fan I broke my flipflop when he took the stage.

  • lilkunta

    Damn y BET gotta take the vid off?
    YT is much easier thant that damn annoyig slow betonblast website.
    I ahve dsl cable internet but still BET's website suck.



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