Rick James

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Buffalo, New York
Birth Sign
Buffalo, New York

Rick James, a Grammy Award-winning guitarist, composer, vocalist, and record producer, was a hugely well-known name in the funk music scene. Rick James, one of the best vocalists, has a number of No. 1 songs on the American R&B charts to his name. When he was a young teenager in his Buffalo neighborhood, he started his musical career by singing on the street corners. He became involved in street crime, drug use, and violence at this time, developing a habit that would later come back to haunt him. He was a forerunner in the funk music genre and is best known for the huge funk singles “Super Freak” and “Give It to Me Baby.” This captivating artist exuded an aura of brilliance, and when he took the stage, he captivated audiences with his spectacular, adrenaline-fueled performances. Unfortunately, he developed a drug addiction as he started to experience professional success. This habit led him to adopt notoriety that eventually landed him in legal difficulties.

Early Childhood & Life

James Ambrose Johnson, Jr. was born in Buffalo, New York, on February 1, 1948, to Mabel and James Ambrose Johnson, Sr., an autoworker. Rick was about eleven years old when his father left his family.

He performed in school and on the streets during his formative years. He also sang around the neighborhood. He went to Bennett High School and Orchard Park High School before leaving at the age of 15.
He fled to Toronto in 1965 after failing to show up for duty with the United States Naval Reserve. He later joined his first band, “Sailor Boyz,” here.

Career of Rick James

He released his debut album, Come Get It!, in 1978, and it was a key factor at the beginning of his solo career in the music business. The popular disco song “You and I” was also included on the CD.
His second studio album, “Bustin’ Out of L Seven,” was released in 1979 on the Gordy Records label. The album featured the popular R&B song “Bustin’ Out.”

His third album, “Fire It Up,” which was released on October 16, 1979, had a mediocre amount of popularity. The songs “Fire It Up,” “Love Gun,” and “Loving You Is a Pleasure” were included on the CD.

His fourth album, “Garden of Love,” which was released in 1980, included the songs “Big Time,” “Don’t Give Up on Love,” and “Island Lady.” The record was well-received.

One of his most popular albums was the concept album “Street Songs,” which he released in 1981. The album included the popular songs “Super Freak” and “Give It to Me Baby.”

His album “Throwin’ Down” was published in 1982. Although the album was given a gold certification, “Street Songs,” his previous album, was more well-liked.

He released the album “Cold Blooded” in 1983 on the Gordy Records imprint. The songs “U Bring The Freak Out” and “New York Town” was on the CD.

In 1985, he issued his album “Glow.” Spend the Night with Me, Melody Make Me Dance, and Sha La LaLaLa were among the songs on the album.

His album “The Flag” was published in 1986. Sweet and Sexy Thing, Freak Flag, R U Experienced, Funk in America / Silly Little Man, and Slow and Easy Interlude were among the songs on the album.

In 1988, he put out his CD Wonderful on the Reprise Records label. One of his most well-known and popular tracks, “Loosey’s Rap,” was included on the CD.

His last album, “Urban Rapsody,” was released in 1997 and was distributed by the Mercury Records and Private-I Records labels. The album was given a variety of reviews.

Bigger Works of Rick James

His song “Give It to Me Baby” had a huge amount of success and spent five weeks at the top of the R&B charts. “She’s All That,” a song from the movie.

His record, “Street Songs,” became popular right away and peaked at No. 1 on the US R&B chart and No. 3 on the US Pop list. Four million copies of the album were sold worldwide.

Recognition & Achievements

For “U Can’t Touch This,” he received the Grammy Award for “Best R&B Song” in 1990.

Personal Legacy & Life

Rick Jr., Trey Hardesty, Tazman, and Ty were his four children. Teena Marie was his romantic partner.
He wed Tanya Hijazi in 1996. In 2002, the couple got a divorce.

He was a victim of substance misuse, which he developed as a habit in his early adolescence. Cocaine was his drug of choice.

He was discovered dead at his Los Angeles residence on August 6, 2004, at the age of 56, from pulmonary and heart failure.

Rick James’ Net Worth

American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer Rick James. Rick James was valued at $250,000 at the time of his demise. Rick would have had a tremendous financial windfall with the emergence of streaming services and ultimately music catalog sales, which we discuss in a moment, had he been able to live another decade or two.


This American singer who won a Grammy Award and his future spouse was found guilty of sexually abusing a woman. He and his future wife both served jail time for this offense.