Colonel Abrams, who helped lead house music into the mainstream in the ’80’s died yesterday at age 67 after suffering from diabetic complications. Abrams was born in Detroit and his family moved to New York City when he was very young. He sang and played instruments in a variety of bands during the ’70’s including 94 East which featured a young Prince on guitar. In 1984, he had his first hit with “Music Is The Answer” on the Streetwise indie label. His popularity grew and after signing a deal with Steven Machat’s AMI production company, Machat was able to get him a deal with MCA Records. He had a string of songs including “Trapped,” “I’m Not Gonna Let You,” “Speculation” and “Over And Over” that made him a club legend. Abrams’ rugged soulful pipes, handsome face and height made him an instant attraction onstage. He was the face of a genre that is typically occupied by studio musicians who remain anonymous behind the label on the records. He credited his Detroit roots spent studying Motown and New York City’s street culture for his sound. Abrams was still a club attraction well into the 2000’s before health issues stopped him from performing live. Last year a fundraiser was held in New York City to raise money for his living expenses and medical treatment because he had become ill and was homeless. Abrams recorded four albums and over 20 singles during his career.