House Music Pioneer Colonel Abrams Passes Away At Age 67
Finally confirmed, the news of House and Dance Music pioneer, Colonel Abrams‘ passing, has dealt a significant blow to those who knew and loved the performer.
His death was announced via Facebook by his friend, DJ Tony “Tune” Herbert, who said, “Now he is at peace.” The musician, who scored his biggest hit in 1985 with the club single, “Trapped,” was living homeless in New York City. Concerned friends and fans created and supported a fundraising campaign to help him obtain vital diabetes medication.
“Our condolences go out to his family and fans worldwide. He is no longer suffering or “trapped,” Herbert added on his Facebook post.
Colonel Abrams was born in Detroit in 1949. His music was a concocted mixture of hard New York street rhythms and soulful melodies he heard growing up in the home of Motown. “I studied all the people on Motown, and I studied the music and listened to the lyrics Smokey Robinson used to write, and just craved the opportunity to be on Motown,” Abrams told the Associated Press back in the 1980s.
With his success came opportunities, as in 1976, Abrams sang lead vocals for Prince‘s 94 East band. They recorded the song “Just Another Sucker” in 1977, which briefly featured the Purple One on lead guitar. As historians note, 94 East quickly dissolved once Prince’s solo career began to take off, but Abrams was undaunted as he joined Surprise Package, a group recording and performing out of New Jersey.
After scoring a small hit in 1984 with “Leave the Message Behind the Door” and “Music Is The Answer,” the latter was an international dance hit and it earned him a record deal with MCA Records. Abrams continued to tour into the mid-1990s, but ultimately, he fell upon hard times in his final years. “The Colonel is very ill with no permanent place of his own to live at this time and limited financial resources. Those of us who have listened to his awesome music and know of his plight, have banded together to try and help him through this rough patch,” the fundraising page said.
According to Herbert, Colonel Abrams passed away last week on Thanksgiving.
Swizz Beatz, Dave Pearce and Joey Negro are among those who have paid tribute online. “It’s a sad day for the House Music community,” wrote Jellybean Benitez, a producer behind Madonna‘s “Holiday” and Whitney Houston‘s “Love Will Save The Day”.
In remembrance of his life + legacy, please press play on his song, “Music Is The Answer” below and share your condolences in the comments section.