Sad news to pass along tonight, as word that pioneering house music and R&B vocalist Colonel Abrams has died. He was 67.
The Detroit-born, New York-based singer is perhaps best known for 1985 hit “Trapped,” but Colonel Abrams also sang on several tracks that are considered to have laid the groundwork for what is now considered global dance music.
No cause of death has been reported, and official confirmation has not been relayed. Earlier today, Tony Tune Herbert posted the following message to Facebook: “Just got word that Colonel Abrams has [passed] away on Thanksgiving, one year to the date that I along with Don Welch, Barbara Tucker, Derek Jenkins, Ralph McDaniels, Marshall Jefferson, Larkie Rucker and a host of his biggest fans fought to get him to let us help him….Now he is at peace and our condolences go out to his family, and fans world wide, he is no longer suffering or Trapped!!!”
Last year, Colonel Abrams was reportedly homeless and suffering from diabetes, and a crowd-funding effort by fans and friends was launched to get him back on his feet.
RIP Colonel Abrams.
Ok we get it 2016! Stop!
— Just Blaze (@JustBlaze) November 27, 2016
Here’s more from Soul Tracks: “By the mid 1970s he became part of the band Heavy Impact. But it was nearly a decade later that Abrams really made a name for himself with the big hit ‘Music Is the Answer.’ It began a string of dance hits that capitalized on the electronic sounds that were popular in the mid ’80s … Abrams continued to chart on the Dance and R&B charts into the mid-’90s, and performed around the world into the new century. He also formed his own Colonel Records and released music sporadically through the early part of this decade.”
Pour one out for Colonel Abrams and listen to a selection of his work below.