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Rick James in Lifestyles of the Rich 1984.jpg

Rick James (Buffalo , New York, 1 February 1948 – Los AngelesAugust 6, 2004) (pseudonym of James Johnson Jr.) was an American singer, musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for his super hit "Super Freak".

He went at the age of fifteen in service with the U.s. Naval Reserve, but defected early on and moved to Toronto (Canada); There, he played in the group The Mynah Birds withNeil Young, among others. There he took the stage name Rick James to. They recorded two songs in 1966 for the Motownrecord label, "it's My Time" and "Go On and Cry", which was only 40 years later were issued. James was arrested for deserting and the group disbanded. A few years later Rick James again came under contract to Motown as songwriter, producer and artist. In 1977, he formed his own band, The Stone City Band, and in 1978 he brought a first record under his own name, "Come Get it!", from which the song You and I was number one on the u.s. R & Bchart. His style was a mixture of rock and funk (also called funk 'n' roll or called punk funk ). Another number one hit was"Give It to Me Baby from 1981, that just as his biggest international hit " Super Freak " on the album" Street Songs "was. Cold Blooded from 1983 was his third number one R & B hit; in that year he also had a hit with Ebony Eyes ", a duet with Smokey Robinson.

He also produced recordings of The Temptations (who also sang along on "Super Freak" ), the Mary Jane Girls and Teena Marie.

In 1986, he had his last major hit with Loosey's Rap. His dissolute lifestyle (he was in his own words, with "thousands" women gone to bed), drugs and contractual problems, however, claimed their toll and he ended up in prison several times.

In 1997 he took the thread again; He married the 27-year-old dancer Tanya Hijazi, and released a new album "Urban Rapsody", to which, among other things, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Bobby Womack were working.

Rick James died of a heart attack on August 6, 2004.

In 1990, MC Hammer used the instrumental track from "Super Freak" for his big hit You Can't Touch This. James got for this cooperation his only Grammy Award.


Rick James played a guest role in an episode The a-team, "The Heart of Rock N ' Roll", in which he played himself and performed in a prison. Isaac Hayes also starred in this episode.

Discography (albums)[Edit][]

  • 1978: Come Get it!
  • 1979: Bustin' Out of L Seven
  • 1979: Fire It Up
  • 1980: Garden of Love '
  • 1981: Street Songs '
  • 1982: Throwin' Down
  • 1983: Cold Blooded
  • 1984: Reflections (a "greatest hits" album)
  • 1985: Glow
  • 1986: The Flag
  • 1988: Wonderful
  • 1989: Kickin' (released in United Kingdom)
  • 1997: Urban Rapsody
  • 2002: Anthology

Radio 2 Top 2000[Edit][]

Number (s) with markings

in the Radio 2 Top 2000

' 99 ' 00 ' 01 ' 02 ' 03 ' 04 ' 05 ' 06 ' 07 ' 08 ' 09 ' 10 ' 11 ' 12 ' 13
Super freak 1587 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -