James Ambrose Johnson Jr. was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer who was better known by his stage name, Rick James. James was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He started making music when he was in his teens.
Before he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve to avoid being sent to the army, he played in different bands. James ran away from home in 1964 and went to Toronto, Canada, where he started the rock band Mynah Birds. In 1966, Motown Records signed them to a record deal.
Do you want to know “How Old Was Rick James When He Died?” Then read the full article.
How Old Was Rick James When He Died?
Rick James, a funk legend best known for his 1981 hit “Super Freak” before drug use and violence ended his career and sent him to prison, died on Friday. He was 56.
Publicist Sujata Murthy said that James died in his sleep at his home near Universal City. She said that James lived alone and that his personal assistant found him dead. His assistant then called the police.
Both the police and Murthy think that James’ death was a natural one. The exact cause was not known right away.
How Did Rick James Die?
James’s caretaker discovered him dead in his Los Angeles home at the Oakwood Toluca Hills apartment complex, just outside Burbank, on August 6, 2004. He was 56 years old at the time.
Sujata Murthy, his longtime publicist, issued a statement to the media indicating that he died of natural causes. James died as a result of pulmonary and cardiac failure, which was caused by his diabetes, stroke, pacemaker, and heart attack.
His autopsy revealed that his blood included alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam, bupropion (Wellbutrin), citalopram (Celexa), hydrocodone, digoxin (Digitalis), chlorpheniramine, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
According to the coroner, “none of the medicines or drug combinations were judged to be at levels that were life-threatening in and of themselves.”
Take A Look At His Early Life!
James was born on February 1, 1948, in Buffalo, New York, as James Ambrose Johnson Jr. His father, James, worked as an autoworker, and his mother, Mabel, was a dancer who later became a numbers runner.
The couple had eight children in all, and James was only ten years old when his father departed. Because of his mother’s career, James was exposed to music and the arts at a young age and began playing music. James went to Orchard Park High School and Bennett High School before dropping out.
He suffered from a variety of vices from a young age, having been introduced to narcotics in middle school and arrested for burglary as a teenager. After spending time in and out of jail, James joined in the United States Navy at the age of 15, lying about his age to escape being conscripted.
Was Rick James Married?
Throughout his life, James had a number of serious relationships. Tyenza and Rick Jr. were his children with singer/songwriter Syville Morgan. From 1982 to 1984, he dated actress Linda Blair, and the pair became pregnant, but Blair chose to have an abortion, which James detailed in his memoir.
Tanya Hijazi was 17 years old when James met her in 1989. They began dating in 1990 and had their first kid, Tazman, in 1993. They later married in 1996 before divorcing in 2002. Teena Marie, with whom James had begun working in 1979, had also maintained a close professional and sometimes romantic relationship with James.
How Did Rick James Start His Career?
James became acquaintances with local musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in Toronto. James used the alias “Ricky James Matthews” to avoid detection by US military authorities. That same year, James formed The Mynah Birds, a band that fused soul, folk, and rock.
In 1965, the band briefly recorded for Columbia Records’ Canadian division, releasing a single called “Mynah Bird Hop”/”Mynah Bird Song” in 1965. Nick St. Nicholas, later of Steppenwolf fame, was a member at one point, but by the time “Mynah Bird Hop” was recorded, bassist Bruce Palmer had replaced him.