Frankie Beverly: “I Was Called To Do This”

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(photo credit: G. Sams/AP)

50 years ago, Frankie Beverly never envisioned that he would still be singing today, let alone be as popular as he and Maze have become. His raspy voice belted out chart-popping melodies like “Happy Feelings,”  “Southern Girl,” “Joy & Pain,” and of course we can’t forget, “We Are One.”

Born Howard Beverly, Beverly started out singing gospel music in church as a schoolboy in Philadelphia. As time went on he formed and sang with a number of groups. When he was in his early 20’s, his group at the time, Frankie Beverly & The Butlers, went through a reorganization period and formed a new group known as Raw Soul. They caught the attention of a sister-in-law to Marvin Gaye. Gaye began featuring them as an opening act at his shows. It was also Marvin Gaye who convinced Beverly to change the band’s name to Maze.

“The way this is working is just mind boggling in what has happened to me,” he shared when asked about Maze’s longevity.  “It’s a good thing too because I was raised to be humbled by my gifts and all. From parents, to good people around me, so I understand it from that point that it’s not me up there, that’s a blessing.”

ON HIS FAVORITE SONGS:

“‘Happy Feelings’ and ‘We Are One’ really define who MAZE is.  ‘We Are One’ describes how we really feel in our heart as a group and as a family.”

ON BEING AROUND SO LONG:

“I thought we were good enough to make music, but never did we think it would be like this. We thank God for all of this.”

“Longevity is a gift. I think I was called to do this.  This isn’t something that I myself can do.  I think I was in a position where God placed this gift in my lap.  I can write and I do have talent, but the thing that keeps our music relevant–that’s all God.”

“I try to stay out of messes and stay healthy.  I really do take pride in what I’ve been given and do the best I can in that.”