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James Rick Bio

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 the major popularizer 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), for whom James sued in order to be credited. 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.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_James