“One Step Closer To You” singer Gavin Christopher dies

(March 4, 2016) We are sad to inform SoulTrackers that singer and songwriter Gavin Christopher, known best for his international smash hit “One Step Closer To You,” has died at age 66. Christopher has been ill for a few years with congestive heart failure, as we reported in this 2013 story.

(March 4, 2016) We are sad to inform SoulTrackers that singer and songwriter Gavin Christopher, known best for his international smash hit “One Step Closer To You,” has died at age 66. Christopher has been ill for a few years with congestive heart failure, as we reported in this 2013 story.

Christopher was born in Chicago to a musical family. It was there he had his first major audition for a show by Oscar Brown, Jr. He worked with Brown and later from Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield, before teaming up with Chaka Khan briefly in the band Lyfe. He then joined the band High Voltage with Bobby Watson, Tony Maiden and Lalomie Washburn, who later joined Rufus with Chaka. Walter told us in 2009: “I had written some songs which were recorded by Rufus, including ’Dance Wit Me,’ ‘Fool's Paradise’ and ‘Once You Get Started,’ and they instantly became their biggest hits. I also wrote ‘Have a Good Time,’ which was sampled by Missy Elliot in a song called ‘It's Real.’

“I decided it was time to leave Chicago and moved to Los Angeles, where I was signed to my first deal with Island Records. I later moved back to Chicago to record and work with Curtis Mayfield on the Curtom/RSO Label. Then I got a call from Herbie Hancock to write and sing for his projects. I wrote and sang several songs on several albums with Herbie Hancock and penned the classic ‘Stars in Your Eyes.’" 

Christopher then moved to New York, where he signed with EMI Manhattan, and released what would become his trademark song, 1986’s "One Step Closer to You," which charted highly on the Pop, R&B and Dance charts. He followed two years later with the Top 20 "You are Who You Love."

Christopher then became involved in the hip-hop scene, producing Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambatta, and writing such hits as "Girls Love the Way He Spins," "Sign of the Time," "We Gonna Rock America" and "All Night All Right." We most recently heard him, sounding great, on the James Day song “Consider Delivered” in 2013, and 2015's "Changed By Love" with Cool Million.

Gavin Christopher may only have been known to some fans for his two big hits as a singer, but he quietly left a much richer legacy on music over four wonderful decades. 

By Chris Rizik

 
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