Charmayne Maxwell, member of the Grammy-nominated R&B group, Brownstone, died Saturday at the age of forty-six. Courtney Barnes, a representative for the Maxwell family, released a statement saying that Maxwell fell and cut her throat on a drinking glass. Her husband, Danish songwriter and producer, Carsten Soulshock, found her bleeding on the floor of their L.A. home sometime later. Maxwell was immediately rushed to Cedars Sinai hospital but died en route due to severe blood loss.
Foul play is not suspected, the family does not have a history of domestic violence, and a toxicology test is pending. Her brother, Brandon Maxwell, was the first to confirm her death, taking to Twitter saying, “R.I.P my beautiful sister Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell I can’t even believe I’m typing this right now..” He went on to say that “Bad things happen to the most innocent people. My sister died in the most terrible way, and I’m in so much pain right now.” While some media outlets are reporting Maxwell’s death a suicide, her brother once again took to Twitter and quickly refute such claims saying, “People are so dumb. This is actually B.S..” with a link to one of the false reports.
Maxwell was one third of the all-girl group, Brownstone, which signed to Michael Jackson’s label, MJJ Music, only a year after their formation. Their 1995 debut album, From the Bottom Up, spawned four singles including the Top 10 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop song “If You Love Me.” The track earned them a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. “Grapevyne” charted on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the U.S. Hot R&B Singles chart. The album itself debuted at number forty-eight on Billboard 200, peaking at number twenty-nine a little over a month later and earning five Billboard Music Award nominations. From the Bottom Up was certified platinum in August 1995 and spent thirty-seven consecutive weeks on Billboard 200.
Brownstone’s second album, Still Climbing, was released in 1997 and featured the singles “5 Miles to Empty” and “Kiss and Tell.” Maxwell eventually pursued a solo career, with her song “When I Look Into Your Eyes” reaching number one on the European charts.
FDRMX Eyes: Seattle natives AdraBoo and Action J make up the electronica/soul project, Fly Moon Royalty. The duo’s music for “DNA” was recently released.