Rick James - Did You Know?

Rick James - Did You Know?January 1, 2019

Music facts, music trivia, interesting stories and much more. Introducing the "Did You Know" page about American singer, songwriter and producer, Rick James.




Rick James (real name: James Ambrose Johnson Jr.) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. He was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and started his musical career in his teen years in different groups and bands before he entered the U.S. Navy in order to avoid being drafted in the early 1960s.

In 1965, Rick James decided to desert to Toronto, Canada, and there he formed the rock band the Mynah Birds, who eventually signed a recording deal with Motown Records in 1966.

His mainstream success had peaked when he released his 1985 album, Glow, and also thanks to his appearance on the popular TV show, The A-Team. 

Rick James is probably most known for his hit song 'Super Freak', which is about a girl who is very adventurous sexually, especially with members of a band. A "Freak" is slang for someone who is willing to try various fetishes, so a super freak will try about anything.

Rick James was also famous for his penchant toward "freakish" behavior, which got James in trouble with the law when he and his girlfriend were arrested for kidnapping another girl for sex.

In 2004, Rick James died from heart failure. He was 56 years old.


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