Colonel Abrams, a musical pioneer who helped bring house into the mainstream, has died at the age of 67.
The American singer, who is best known for his signature 1985 hit "Trapped", had recently been living homeless in New York.
Last year, friends launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to help Abrams gain access to diabetes medication and get him off the streets.
His friend DJ Tony Tune Herbert announced the news of Abrams’ death on Facebook on Friday. He said Abrams was now “at peace” and was “no longer suffering”.
“Just got word that Colonel Abrams has passed away on Thanksgiving,” Herbert said.
Notable deaths in 2016
Notable deaths in 2016
Grand secretary of the Orange Order Drew Nelson died on 10 October aged 60 after a short illness
Aaron Pryor, the relentless junior welterweight died Sunday, Oct. 9, at the age of 60 at his home in Cincinnati after a long battle with heart disease
Polish Director Andrzej Wajda died on October 9, aged 90
Stylianos Pattakos has died following a stroke on 8th October. He was 103 years old.
Dickie Jeeps, was an English rugby union player who played for Northampton. He represented and captained both the England national rugby union team and the British Lions in the 1950s and 1960s. He died on 8th October. He was 84
6/33 Duke of Westminster
Billionaire landowner the Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor has died on 9 August, aged 64
7/33 Christina Knudsen
Sir Roger Moore’s stepdaughter Christina Knudsen has died from cancer on 25 July at teh age of 47
8/33 Caroline Aherne
The actress Caroline Aherne has died from cancer on 2 July at the age of 52
9/33 Christina Grimmie
Christina Grimmie, 22, who was an American singer and songwriter, known for her participation in the NBC singing competition The Voice, was signing autographs at a concert venue in Orlando on 10 June when an assailant shot her. Grimmie was transported to a local hospital where she died from her wounds on 11 June
10/33 Kimbo Slice
Former UFC and Bellator MMA fighter Kimbo Slice died after being admitted to hospital in Florida on 6 June, aged 42
11/33 Muhammad Ali
The three-time former heavyweight world champion died after being admitted to hospital with a respiratory illness on 3 June, aged 74
12/33 Sally Brampton
Brampton who was the launch editor of the UK edition of Elle magazine has died on 10 May, aged 60
13/33 Billy Paul
The soul singer Billy Paul, who was best known for his single “Me and Mrs Jones”, has died on 24 April, aged 81
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
Prince, the legendary musician, has been found dead at his Paisley Park recording studio on 21 April. He was 57
WWE icon Joan Laurer dies aged 45 after being found at California home on 20 April
16/33 Victoria Wood
The five-time Bafta-winning actress and comedian Victoria Wood has died on 20 April at her London home after a short illness with cancer. She was 62
17/33 David Gest
The entertainer and former husband of Liza Minnelli, David Gest has been found dead on 12 April in the Four Seasons hotel in Canary Warf, London. He was 62-years-old
18/33 Denise Robertson
Denise Robertson, an agony aunt on This Morning for over 30 years, has died on 1 April, aged 83
19/33 Zaha Hadid
Dame Zaha Hadid, the prominent architect best known for designs such as the London Olympic Aquatic Centre and the Guangzhou Opera House, has died of a heart attack on 31 March, aged 65
20/33 Ronnie Corbett
British entertainer Ronnie Corbett has passed away on 31 March at the age of 85
2014 Getty Images
21/33 Imre Kertesz
Hungarian writer and Holocaust survivor Imre Kertesz, who won the 2002 Nobel Literature Prize, has died on 31 March, at the age of 86
22/33 Rob Ford
Rob Ford, the former controversial mayor of Toronto, has died following a battle with a rare form of cancer. The 46-year-old passed away at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto on 22 March
23/33 Joey Feek
Joey (left) passed away in March after a two-year cancer illness. She was part of country music duo, Joey + Rory, with her husband Rory (right)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
24/33 Umberto Eco
Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco died 19 February 2016 aged 84
25/33 Harper Lee
Harper Lee, the American novelist known for writing 'To Kill a Mockingbird', died February 19, 2016 aged 89
2005 Getty Images
Vanity, pictured performing in 1983, died aged 57
27/33 Dave Mirra
The BMX legend's body found inside truck with gunshot wound after apparent suicide aged 41
28/33 Harry Harpham
The former miner became Sheffield Labour MP in May after many years as a local councillor. He died after succumbing to cancer, at the age of 61.
29/33 Dale Griffin
The Mott the Hoople drummer died on January 17, aged 67
30/33 Rene Angelil
Celine Dion's husband and manager Rene Angelil has lost his battle with cancer on 14 January, aged 73
2011 Getty Images
31/33 Alan Rickman
Legendary actor Alan Rickman has died on 14 January at the age of 69 after battle with pancreatic cancer. He is largely regarded as one of the most beloved British actors of our generation with roles in Love Actually, Die Hard, Michael Collins, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and an illustrious stage career
2015 Getty Images
32/33 Maurice White
The Earth, Wind & Fire founder died aged 74. The nine-piece band sold more than 90 million albums worldwide and won six Grammy awards
33/33 Lawrence Phillips
Former NFL star found dead in prison cell on 13 January in suspected suicide, aged 40
With the help of house music veteran Marshall Jefferson, Herbert launched a crowdfunding campaign to help Abrams, who fell upon difficult times in his last years. “The Colonel is very ill with no permanent place of his own to live at this time and limited financial resources,” they said at the time.
Jefferson asked supporters to donate to Abrams’ cause instead of his next album in December of last year. “What I'm asking here is that all donations stop from my Kickstarter campaign and are put towards Colonel Abrams. He’s homeless now and in horrible health and is really in an emergency,” he said in a video.
“This should as serve as a reminder to a lot of us in the house music business that we’re not rich, we don’t have pension plans and the bottom could drop out at any second ... He is in dire straits now. A lot of us have seen how bad his health is first hand”.
It is not known where Abrams was living when he died.
Colonel Abrams, his real name, was born in Motown’s hometown of Detroit in 1949 but raised in Manhattan where he began playing guitar at an early age.
On both sides of the atlantic, "Trapped" remains the song the retired house musician is best known for. The club hit reached number three in the UK and still gets a fair amount of airplay on dance radio stations in both America and the UK.
Abrams continued to feature on dance and R&B charts in the US into the mid-1990s and performed across the world into the 21st century.
A GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral was launched by Carla Abrams, who says she is his daughter-in-law, in the wake of his death. She said the funeral would be held next week.
“So, as some of you may have heard or you may not have heard that Colonel Abrams passed away on Thursday, November 24, 2016, which would have been on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, the rumour is true. The family is in emotional pain, but they're staying strong for one another,” she wrote on the page.
Fellow musicians, such as Questlove, Joey Negro and Dave Pearce, have paid tribute to Abrams.Reuse content