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Rick James

Rick James (born James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.; February 1, 1948 – August 6, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer, best known for being one of the popularizers of funk music in the late 1970s and early 1980s thanks to million-selling hits such as "You and I" (1978), "Give It to Me Baby" (1981) and "Super Freak" (1981), the latter song crossing him over to pop audiences and selling over three million copies, later contributing to the success of rapper MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" (1990), which James sued to be credited for. James won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song with Hammer for the song, his only Grammy win. James started his singing career fronting doo-wop and rhythm and blues bands in his hometown of Buffalo, New York in the early 1960s, with his vocal style influenced by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and David Ruffin. After entering the United States Navy to avoid conscription after he dropped out of high school, James went AWOL and relocated to Canada where he resumed his music career. While there, James formed the rock-soul fusion band Mynah Birds, whose lineup once included a young Neil Young. James' tenure with the Mynah

LATEST STORIES
  
Ex-Mary Jane Girls  -- Sued By Ghost Of Rick James

Ex-Mary Jane Girls
Sued By Ghost Of Rick James

1980s girl group Mary Jane Girls should be as dead as the Walkman ... but 2 ex-members have resuscitated their careers, much to the chagrin of Rick James' Estate, which has now sued the… READ MORE >

'Lovergirl' Singer Teena Marie Dead at 54

'Lovergirl' Singer Teena Marie Dead at 54

Grammy nominated singer Teena Marie -- once known as Rick James' protégée -- died in her sleep last night at her home in Pasadena at the age of 54 ... TMZ has confirmed with Teena's rep… READ MORE >

- 1362 days ago

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