Beyoncé, Maxwell, Keri Hilson Lead Nominations For Soul Train Awards Return
Beyoncé, Maxwell, Keri Hilson Lead Nominations For Soul Train Awards Return

R&B singer Maxwell premiered the video to his first single in over six years, "Pretty Wings," at Sony Music's New York offices yesterday (April 28). As exclusively revealed on Billboard.com, the song appears on his upcoming, fourth studio album, "BLACKsummers'night," due July 7th on Columbia.

"I'm so grateful for all of this. I'm so scared of what I do sometimes because it's difficult to out due yourself. But I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being so patient and sticking by me," Maxwell, sporting a black suit, black button up shirt and brown shoes, told the crowd gathered at the Sony Club.

Directed by Philip Andelman, the video to "Pretty Wings" depicts various women of different ethniticities having a difficult time sleeping because Maxwell, who, based on the lyrics to the track, has decided to walk away from the relationship. At the end, the ghost of Maxwell lays with each of them in their respective beds, and then disappears right before they each float into the air.

As of yesterday, "Pretty Wings" is available through digital service providers, as well as on musze.com, Maxwell's website. The video also premiered on BET's "106 & Park" yesterday.

"In the past few years I've been making music for myself, looking at the landscape and fighting for copyright - I've been living my life," said Maxwell when asked what he's been up to since his last release, 2001's "Now." "I felt a disenchantment and preferential treatment in the industry. There was humility, bravado and entitlement missing. So I sat back because I didn't want to throw what I had into thin air.

"But, then I came to the realization that this is a gift no matter what," he adds. "You need to cure and bring a connection through sound. I hope in some small way I can leave some kind of mark."

Produced by Maxwell and co-produced by long-time collaborator Hod David alongside a live, ten-piece band, "BLACKsummers'night" is a nine-track set and the first installment of a planned trilogy. The trilogy's subsequent chapters include "blackSUMMERS'night" and "blacksummers'NIGHT," slated for release in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Maxwell is scheduled to headline the main stage of the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 4th. He will also be going on a major, stateside tour in support of "BLACKsummers'night," starting on June 20th in Milwaukee and capping off in Orlando on August 2nd. This trek follows his fall 2008 tour, Maxwell's first in six years. Although not supported by any new material, the tour sold out every stop.

"After I toured I remembered faces and encouragement and got so much inspiration. In today's time you need so many bells and whistles, but to be able to feel people's need for me made this record better," he said.

As far as what fans can expect on "BLACKsummers'night," Maxwell says he just hopes "people enjoy the music, put songs into your lives and apply them to your experiences -- clean your kitchen, make love to your girl, have children, all that."

Here are the dates for Maxwell's upcoming tour:

June 20: Milwaukee
June 23: Seattle
June 24: Vancouver
June 26: Las Vegas
June 28: Los Angeles (BET)
June 29: Phoenix
July 1: Austin
July 3: San Antonio
July 4: New Orleans
July 12: Nashville
July 13: Louisville
July 15: Columbus
July 16: Cleveland
July 18: Pittsburgh
July 19: Buffalo
July 21: Albany
July 24: Atlantic City
July 25: Foxwoods
July 27: Norfolk
July 28: Savannah
July 30: Tampa
Aug. 1: Miami
Aug. 2: Orlando