Gavin Christopher

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Gavin Christopher (Born May 1, 1949) is an American R&B singer, songwriter, musician, and producer.


Born in Chicago, Illinois, he started out playing music at a very early age. Having been schooled by the likes of Oscar Brown Jr., Donny Hathaway, Baby Huey and later on Curtis Mayfield, he honed his writing and singing skills and began his career, first in a band called Lyfe (which also included Chaka Khan). Khan then left and joined Rufus (scoring several pop and R&B hits with them). Christopher later joined another band called High Voltage with future Rufus members Bobby Watson and Tony Maiden, as well as Lalomie Washburn, who later wrote several Rufus songs. Christopher himself would also become associated with Rufus, as he penned the song "Once You Get Started," which was later recorded by the band and hit #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. He also wrote three songs on Rufus' next album, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan: "Dance Wit Me" (another big hit), "Fool's Paradise," and "Have A Good Time."

Christopher relocated to Los Angeles, California, where he was signed to his first recording contract with Island Records. He later moved back to Chicago to record and work with Curtis Mayfield on the Curtom/RSO record label. He worked with Herbie Hancock, writing and singing on several of his albums. Christopher also penned the Hancock song, "Stars in Your Eyes".

Following a move to New York City, Christopher signed with EMI Manhattan Records and scored his biggest single to date, "One Step Closer to You" (his only Hot 100 hit as an artist, #22 in 1986) and another major R&B hit two years later with "You Are Who You Love." He also produced music for artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and The Ritchie Family, as well as mentored and worked with a young Mariah Carey prior to her getting her big break. He was heavily involved in the early hip-hop scene, writing such hits as "Girls Love the Way He Spins", "Sign Of the Time", "We Gonna Rock America" and "All Night All Right".

Gavin's sister is dance music vocalist Shawn Christopher.

Solo discography[edit]



  • 1976: "Good Stuff"
  • 1976: "Love Has a Face of Its Own"
  • 1979: "Feelin' the Love"
  • 1985: "Best Part of the Night" (Jeff Lorber feat. Gavin Christopher)
  • 1986: "One Step Closer to You" (U.S. #22, U.S. R&B #25, U.S. Dance #9)
  • 1986: "Back in Your Arms"
  • 1988: "You Are Who You Love" (U.S. R&B #10)[1]
  • 1988: "Can't Put Out the Fire"

Miscellaneous Appearances[edit]

The following is a partial listing of recordings Christopher appears on and produced

  • 1979 Gavin Christopher Gavin Christopher Percussion, Piano, Conga, Vocals, Clavinet, Producer]
  • 1979 Gonna Getcha Love Charles Jackson producer' Keyboards, Vocals]
  • [1980 Monster Herbie Hancock Vocals]
  • [1981 Magic Windows Herbie Hancock Vocals, Bass Arrangement]
  • [1982 Paradise Leroy Hutson Vocals (bckgr)]
  • [1985 They Said It Couldn't Be Done Grandmaster Flash producer, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Keyboards, Programming, Producer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, Drum Programming, Mixing, Synthesizer Bass, Simmons Drums, System Programming
  • [1986 Beware (The Funk Is Everywhere) Afrika Bambaataa Producer]
  • [1987 Gavin Gavin Christopher Mic MurphyDavid Frank Keyboards, Vocals producers,]
  • [1990 Brilliant! Kym Mazelle Vocal Arrangement]
  • [1993 Club Classics 1982-1984, Vol. 1 Various Artists producer,] Arranger, Producer, Mixing
  • [1993 Soul Mission Soul Mission Vocals]
  • [1995 Best Disco in Town: The Best of the Ritchie Family The Ritchie Family Producer]
  • [1996 Adventures of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & the Furi Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five/Mel Producer]
  • [1997 Too Much Woman Brigette McWilliams Vocals (bckgr)]
  • [1997 Whatever Happened to the Blues Phil Upchurch] Vocals
  • [2000 Best of Herbie Hancock: The Hits Herbie Hancock] Arranger, Vocals
  • [2001 Breakin' Arthur Baker Piano, Vocals]
  • [2001 Mr. Funk Herbie Hancock Chant] [2002 Bullet Proof Bruce Conte Vocals]
  • [2002 Evolution Will Not Be Televised Aquabox Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Produce
  • [2002 Herbie Hancock Box Herbie Hancock Vocals]
  • [2004 D'Soca Zone 5th Spin Various Artists Producer]
  • [2006 Chicago LP Chicago's Finest Vocals (bckgr) producer]
  • [2006 Definitive Groove Collection Grandmaster Flash Producer, Original Recording Producer]
  • [2006 Everyday People Project Steve Harvey Vocals (bckgr)]
  • 2006 Fresh and Furious: Hip Hop's Beginning Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Keyboards, Programming, Tom-Toms,Gavin Christopher Producer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, Mixing]
  • [2007 Daily News [Circuit City Exclusive] Donnie Vocals (bckgr)]
  • [2007 Daily News Donnie Vocals (bckgr)] [Gavin Christopher [Island] Gavin Christopher ] Guitar, Piano, Conga, Keyboards, Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Clavinet, Producer
  • [Heat for the Feets Lee Garrett Vocals (bckgr)]
  • [One Step Closer Gavin Christopher Synthesizer, Keyboards, Vocals producer, (bckgr)]
  • [Way Ian Martin Vocals]

A partial list of albums Gavin Christopher's songs appear on:

  • Aquabox - Evolution Will Not Be Televised
  • Loletta Holloway - "crash goes love"(1987)
  • Beatstreet - "breakdance"/vocals (1987)
  • Average White Band - Feel No Fret
  • Candy Dulfer - For the Love of You
  • Kenny Dope - Strange Games and Funky Things, Vol. 3
  • Grandmaster Flash - They said it couldn't be done.
  • Adventures of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel Shango funk theology

Africa Bambatta.

  • Herbie Hancock - Best of Herbie Hancock: The Hits Herbie Hancock Monster
  • Chaka Khan - Life Is a Dance (The Remix Project)
  • Manila Thriller - Please
  • Brigette McWilliams -Too Much Woman
  • Rufus - Rufusized
  • Rufus & Chaka Khan - Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan
  • Rufus & Chaka Khan - Stompin' at the Savoy (Live)
  • Original Soundtrack Prefontaine


External links[edit]