James Ambrose Johnson Jr. (February 1, 1948 – August 6, 2004), better known by his stage name Rick James, was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, James began his musical career in his teen years. He was in various bands before entering the U.S. Navy Reserve to avoid being drafted into the army. In 1964, James deserted to Toronto, Canada, where he formed the rock band the Mynah Birds, who eventually signed a recording deal with Motown Records in 1966. James' career with the group halted after military authorities discovered his whereabouts and eventually convicted and sentenced James to a one-year prison term related to the desertion charges. After being released, James moved to California, where he started a variety of rock and funk groups in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
|Full name at birth||
James Ambrose Johnson Jr.
|Claim to fame||
his 1980s hit songs such as “Super Freak,” “Give it to Me Baby,” and “Mary Jane,” and for his popularity due to an extremely popular and referencable episode of Chappelle's Show, portraying the mischief he got into with Charlie Murphy
|Date of birth||
1 February 1948
|Place of birth||
Buffalo, New York, USA
|Date of death||
6 August 2004
56 (age at death)
|Place of death||
Los Angeles, California, USA
|Cause of death||
Pulmonary failure and cardiac failure, associated with his various health conditions of diabetes, a stroke, pacemaker, and heart attack
Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA
Singer, songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, bandleader, record producer, arranger
5' 11¼" (181 cm)
Bennett High School, Buffalo, New York, USA
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