NME Artists

Rick James

NME.com feature on Rick James including news, reviews, biography, youtube video, audio, concerts, tour dates, photos, pictures, commentary, album reviews and live reviews and cool facts.

Rick James News

Rick James to release posthumous album

It was the album James was working on when he died

  • Jan 18, 2007


The funk legend had nine drugs in his system…

  • Sep 17, 2004


Thousands of fans attend the funk legend's funeral...

  • Aug 16, 2004


The funk legend, who died earlier this week, is remembered at a memorial service in LA...

  • Aug 13, 2004


The funk legend is remembered by his family, peers and the music industry…

  • Aug 9, 2004

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Rick James Music Videos

Ajelown - Are you (Explicit) Music Video Play Video

Ajelown - Are you (Explicit) Music Video

'Are You' Lyrics by Ajelown Owais & Rick Leon James©2012 Music Produced by Rick Leon James (@Ghost Cut), Music Mastered by @RawkNait, Music Video filmed and directed by Henry Houdini. @Henry_Houdini (twitter),

Loosey's Rap (Video) Play Video

Loosey's Rap (Video)

Watch the official Loosey's Rap (Video) video by Rick James in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Bluesman01 720p Play Video

Bluesman01 720p

HD Music Video, FIRST DAY, written and vocals by Rick Cloutier, performed by the Texas CADILLAC BLUES BAND

First Day-2 Play Video

First Day-2

HD, This animated music video of "FIRST DAY". Produced by Nick Dean, First Day,written and vocals by Rick Cloutier, recorded at the 4th Generation Studios in Houston Texas, performed by the CADILLAC BLUES BAND

Rick Ross parle des Bugatti Boys avec Puff Daddy ! Play Video

Rick Ross parle des Bugatti Boys avec Puff Daddy !

Rick Ross parle des Bugatti Boys, sont groupe formé avec Puff Daddy ! - KassDED : La chaine du hip-hop ! Abonne-toi : http://bit.ly/16wVBtE Des exclus, des freestyles, des interviews inédites, des live, des...

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Rick James Biography

Rick James (born James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.; February 1, 1948August 6, 2004) was an American musician and composer.

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. He entered the United States Navy to avoid conscription after dropping out of high school; James deserted and relocated to Toronto, 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 Birds was interrupted after he was discovered recording with the group in Motown in the 1960s, and surrendered to military authorities. He served a one-year prison sentence in Buffalo. Afterwards, James returned to Canada, where he resumed the Mynah Birds, though the band eventually split; James moved to California where he started a series of rock bands. He also had a period where he served as a staff writer with Motown (under a pen name) before he left the label.

In 1977, he signed with the Gordy Records subsidiary of Motown as a recording artist where in 1978, he recorded his first album, Come Get It!, which sold over a million copies at the time of its release. He would go on to score several popular hits on the pop and R&B charts, including four number-one hits on the latter chart. James became noted not only as a hit maker on his own recordings but also produced successful recordings for the likes of Teena Marie, the Mary Jane Girls, the Temptations, Eddie Murphy and Smokey Robinson. His best-selling recording, 1981's Street Songs, sold over three million copies, helping to renew sagging fortunes in Motown.

Known as the 'King of Punk Funk' for his mix of funky soul and underground-inspired rock, a term used by publications such as Jet, James began to face major issues. In April 1984, he was hospitalized after being found unconscious in the middle of his house by a friend. Addictions to cocaine and crack, hampered his career by the late 1980s. In the 1990s, his legal troubles, which would include assaulting two women while under the influence of crack, led him to serve a three-year sentence at California's Folsom State Prison. James was released on parole in 1996 and resumed his musical career releasing the album, Urban Rapsody, in 1997. A mild stroke suffered during a concert in early 1998 interrupted his career for a brief time. James received new notoriety in 2004 when he appeared on an episode of Dave Chappelle's Chappelle Show in the Charlie Murphy "True Hollywood Stories" segment of the show, in which James' past wild lifestyle was satirized. James died later that year from heart failure at the age of 56.

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