American news agencies are reporting that Chicago soul singer GAVIN CHRISTOPHER has died aged 59. Few details are available at the moment but it is understood that the ‘One Step Closer’ hit maker had been has been ill for a number of years with congestive heart failure.

Gavin Christopher came from a musical family (his sister is Shawn Christopher) but he made his pro debut in a band called Lyfe (Chaka Khan was also a member). He had, though, in his youth, briefly worked with Oscar Brown Jr, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield and Baby Huey. After Lyfe, his next band was called High Voltage which also featured more future Rufus members. Indeed a Gavin Christopher-penned song, ‘Once You Get Started’ later gave Rufus a top 10 Hit.

After moving to L.A. Gavin signed a solo deal with Island but the liaison was short lived and back in Chicago he signed with Curtom before moving to EMI/Manhattan. There he scored his biggest hit – 1986’s ‘One Step Closer’.

Gavin Christopher also worked with Herbie Hancock (writing his ‘Stars In Your Eyes’) and after his solo career slowed down he produced music for Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa,The Ritchie Family and a young Mariah Carey.

More recently Gavin Christopher was featured vocalist on James Day’s ‘Consider Delivered’ and Cool Million’s ‘Changed By Love’. The Cool Million duo today posted, “We are sad to hear that our vocalist and friend Gavin Christopher is no longer among us. Rest In peace Gavin your voice will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Light and love”