Detroit-born vocalist Colonel Abrams, who became popular in the 1980s underground dance scene, has died at the age of 67.
Before scoring his first major hit in 1984 with “Music Is the Answer” on the independent label Streetwise, Abrams sang in a band called 94 East, which featured Prince on guitar. He also was a member of the groups Conservative Manor and Surprise Package. Abrams found success as a solo artist in Europe during the ’80s with songs such as “Leave the Message Behind the Door,” “Trapped,” “The Truth,” “Speculation,” “I’m Not Gonna Let You,” and “Over and Over.”
The artist’s death was announced on Facebook by DJ Tony “Tune” Herbert, who said of Abrams: “Now he is at peace. Our condolences go out to his family and fans world wide. He is no longer suffering or Trapped.” Last year a GoFundMe page was started for Abrams, as he had reportedly become homeless and needed to raise funds to access vital medical treatment.
Abrams told the Associated Press news agency in the ’80s that his music combined the sounds of his hometown and New York, where he moved to early in life: “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. But after my family moved to New York, I studied street music, and I sort of combined them both: The Detroit sound and the street sounds of New York.”
Listen to “Trapped” by Colonel Abrams below: