Terence Trent D'Arby
Terence Trent D'Arby (born Terence Trent Howard, March 15, 1962 and known by other aliases) is an American singer-songwriter inspired by mixing funk, pop, rock, and soul who came to fame with his album 'Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby', released in July 1987. That album included the hit singles "Dance Little Sister", "Sign Your Name", and "Wishing Well". It has sold over 14 million copies.
The album also earned the artist a Grammy Award in March 1988 in the category of 'Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male'. In that same year, D'Arby earned three Soul Train Award nominations for 'Male Album of the Year' (from releasing 'Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby'), 'Male Single of the Year' (from releasing "Wishing Well"), and 'Best New Artist'. Receiving immense critical praise for a work that became RIAA certified as mutli-platinum, fans worried that he may have peaked too early, but they found D'Arby determined to continue down his own unique musical path.
D'Arby was born in Manhattan, New York, and he joined the army after leaving college, serving in Elvis Presley's old regiment in Germany. He was formally discharged by the army in 1983 after going absent without leave. While in Germany, he also worked with the group The Touch, releasing an album of material called 'Love On Time' in 1984. That album was later re-issued in 1989 as 'Early Works'.
D'Arby's follow-up studio album, 'Neither Fish Nor Flesh', came out in 1989. It sold over two million copies and earned praise from fans. Many critical reviews, however, were mixed and faulted D'Arby for what they saw as wandering about musically with a purpose, and the artist's acrimonious disputes with his record label grated on him. Note that the album is often alternatively known as 'Neither Fish Nor Flesh: A Soundtrack of Love, Faith, Hope & Destruction',
The expectations placed on D'Arby's shoulders from his early success caused him to undertake some needed soul searching. It took four more years and a move to Los Angeles, California until his next project, 1993's 'Symphony or Damn', was released. Also known as 'Symphony or Damn: Exploring the Tension Inside the Sweetness', the work proved somewhat of a commercial comeback and peaked at #4 on the U.K. album charts while receiving many supportive reviews.
D'Arby had moved into more and more of a musical vibe influenced by gritty rock, often inspired by blues. In 1995, D'Arby released 'Vibrator', which largely followed his previous work in its musical direction. Sadly, his commercial prospects were judged by many critics to be waning.
During the mid-90s, the relations between the artist and his label, Columbia Records, had became strained to the braking point, leading to the artist's departure in 1996. This was followed by four-years on Java Records, during which he recorded an album titled 'Terence Trent D'Arby's Solar Return'. Said work, however, was never released. In 2000, he bought the rights to his unreleased album and left the record company as well as Lippman Entertainment, which was his then-management-team.
In 1999, D'Arby was briefly hired by INXS to replace his friend, late vocalist Michael Hutchence, so the band could play at the opening of facilities for the Sydney Olympics.
In 2001 D'Arby changed his name to Sananda Francesco Maitreya. The same year, he settled in Munich, Germany, and started his own independent record label, Treehouse Pub. The year also marked his first album release in six years, Wildcard (the unreleased "Solar Return"). The album, first available for free through his website, was later released through a one-album distribution deal with Universal Music.
In 2002 Maitreya moved to Milan, Italy, and began working on his next project, Angels & Vampires - Volume I.
In July 2005 Maitreya started working on Angels & Vampires - Volume II, he released chapter after chapter online as soon he finished recording the songs. In April 2006 he released the finished album; again via his website.
D'Arby/Maitreya appeared in in the TV series "Shake, Rattle And Roll" where he played the part of Jackie Wilson. His music has also been included on several movie soundtracks, most notably 1991's Frankie and Johnny.