|Terence Trent Howard|
|Born||March 15, 1962|
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Origin||New York City, New York|
Sananda Francesco Maitreya (born Terence Trent Howard, March 15, 1962), better known by his former stage name Terence Trent D'Arby, is an American singer and songwriter who came to fame with his debut studio album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby (1987). The album included the singles "If You Let Me Stay", "Sign Your Name", "Dance Little Sister", and "Wishing Well"; "Wishing Well" became a number one hit.
Terence Trent D'Arby was born Terence Trent Howard in Manhattan in 1962. His mother is Frances Howard, a gospel singer, teacher and counselor. She married Bishop James Benjamin Darby, who became his stepfather and raised him, hence "his last name changed and later he completed it with the apostrophe."
He trained as a boxer in Orlando and in 1980 won the Florida Golden Gloves lightweight championship. He received an offer to attend boxing school in the United States Army, but went to college instead. After enrolling at the University of Central Florida, he quit a year later and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was posted at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and then served in the 3rd Armored Division, near Frankfurt, West Germany. He was formally court-martialed and dishonorably discharged by the army in April 1983 after going absent without leave. While in West Germany, he worked as a band leader with the band The Touch, releasing an album of material called Love On Time (1984). It was later re-issued in 1989 as Early Works after his worldwide success as a solo artist. In 1986, he left West Germany for London, where he briefly played with The Bojangles. There he teamed up with producer Howard Gray and signed a recording contract with CBS Records.
D'Arby's debut solo album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, released in July 1987, is his best-known commercial work. The album produced hits including "If You Let Me Stay", "Sign Your Name", "Dance Little Sister", and the number one hit "Wishing Well".
D'Arby expressed a high opinion of his debut album, claiming that it was the most important album since the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper. After the comments leaked to US media outlets, he stated that most of what he said was exaggerated, but that it is sometimes necessary to "hit people over the head" to get their attention. The album earned him a Grammy Award in the category Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male (1989) and a BRIT Award for International Breakthrough Act, and he also received Grammy and Soul Train nominations for Best New Artist.
D'Arby's follow-up album was Neither Fish Nor Flesh (1989), which was not as successful as his debut had been. It took four more years and a move to Los Angeles until his next album, Symphony or Damn (1993), was released. The record contained the singles "Delicate" and "She Kissed Me". It peaked at No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart. In 1995, D'Arby released Vibrator, which was followed by a world tour.
D'Arby's music has been included on several movie and television soundtracks. He sang the theme song of 1991's Frankie and Johnny. "Right Thing, Wrong Way" featured prominently in the end credits of Beverly Hills Cop III. "What Shall I Do?" was featured in an episode of the UPN television series Girlfriends. He sang the ending song, "Letting Go", in the 1996 film The Fan. D'Arby's songs were also used in Prêt-à-Porter and the 1995 miniseries The Promised Land.
In 1999, D'Arby collaborated with INXS to replace his friend, the late vocalist Michael Hutchence, so the band could play at the official opening of Stadium Australia (a major venue for the Sydney Olympics).
D'Arby legally changed his name to Sananda Maitreya on October 4, 2001, explaining, "Terence Trent D'Arby was dead... he watched his suffering as he died a noble death. After intense pain I meditated for a new spirit, a new will, a new identity". Maitreya has said that his name change resulted from a series of dreams he had in 1995. Though the name does not have any religious significance, Maitreya explained that he understood it to mean "rebirth" in Sanskrit. However, the name does not mean "rebirth" in Sanskrit; s?nanda means "possessed of happiness", while maitreya means "friendly, kind, loving, benevolent".
Maitreya has released the albums Wildcard (2001), Angels & Vampires - Volume I (2005), Angels & Vampires - Volume II (2006), Nigor Mortis: A Critical Mass (2009), The Sphinx (2013), The Rise of the Zugebrian Time Lords (2015), and Prometheus & Pandora (2017). He has also issued four live albums. In 2007, three of his songs were played in Judd Apatow's movie Knocked Up.