Soul star Maxwell is preparing to release the long-delayed follow-up to his 2009 album Blacksummers'night, four years after he initially planned to put it out.

The Pretty Wings hitmaker made a chart comeback with his Grammy-winning BLACKsummers'night, his first release in eight years, and delighted fans by stating it would be the first in a trilogy of projects.

He wanted to unveil the second instalment, Summers, in 2010, but the disc was temporarily put on hold because his 2009 album was still such a big hit with fans.

The project never emerged, as Maxwell was struck down with vocal swelling and haemorrhaging, which forced him to cancel his 2011 tour to undergo surgery.

Now Maxwell, who turned 41 last month (May14), reveals he is ready to focus on his work again after a tough few years in between releases.

He tells the Associated Press, "I lost my cousin. I lost a lot of things. I lost a lot of friends. I came to realise so many good things about people that were always really there, and then so many bad things about people who really weren't.

"When you turn 40 and when you cross a decade, God shows you the truth and you just sort of have to take it and run with it, and basically make the right choices, and that's kind of where I'm at right now.

"I think that's why the album can come out now."

Maxwell hopes to release Summer later this year (14), although an exact release date has yet to be scheduled.

The singer has also been keeping busy working with Alicia Keys on a previously-discussed joint Ep, while he has also written a song for his old friend Jennifer Lopez, who he has known since the early 1990s.

Gushing about the superstar, he says, "She's such an American success story. There are people like Kim Kardashian, even Beyonce, that can look at her and say, 'Yo, she showed us how to shut it down'."