Birthday: Gregory Abbott

Gregory Abbott's first taste of musical success came when his wife, R&B singer Freda Payne, recorded his songs.

Abbott was born in the Harlem section of New York on April 2, 1956. He received a Masters Degree in psychology and spent time as a university English professor.

In the beginning of his career as a recording artist, Abbott sang with Whitney and Cissy Houston. His 1986 album and single, "Shake You Down," on Columbia Records, were unqualified smashes.

The LP mixed pop, soul, Caribbean music and jazz. The title song, which was the third-biggest-selling single of the year, topped the pop, R&B, adult contemporary and jazz charts. Abbott had a hit R&B single with "I'll Prove it to You" two years later. He has appeared on TV's "All My Children."

Super Hits was issued in 1998 and Abbott's first LP of new material in four years is due later this year.

Other birthdays Sunday: Marvin Gaye, 1939–1984.