By Evan Minsker. Photo: Instagram.
Abrams, born in Detroit, sang in a band called 94 East in 1976—a group featuring Prince on guitar. He was also a member of the groups Conservative Manor and Surprise Package before eventually becoming a prominent figure in New York’s dance scene in the ’80s. While a few of Abrams’ songs climbed the Billboard R&B and dance charts in the U.S., he found greater success in Europe—his 1985 single “Trapped” reached No. 3 on the UK singles chart. In one 1986 interview he gave after finding success abroad, Abrams expressed frustration about being pigeonholed in the U.S. on the “dance” and “black” music charts. He said he was greeted by European audiences as “a major pop artist” and said his music was “influencing a lot of other types of music that are not so-called ‘dance music.’”
Abrams reportedly fell on hard times in the recent past. Late last year, a GoFundMe page was started for Abrams, saying he was homeless and ill.
This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.
*More from Pitchfork: