American singer and musician (1948–2004)
James Ambrose Johnson Jr., better known by his stage name Rick James, was an American singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, James began his musical career in his teenage years. He was in various bands before entering the U.S. Navy Reserve to avoid being drafted into the army. In 1964, James deserted to Toronto, Canada, where he formed the rock band the Mynah Birds, who eventually signed a recording deal with Motown Records in 1966. James's career with the group halted after military authorities discovered his whereabouts and eventually convicted him of desertion related charges. He served several months in jail. After being released, James moved to California, where he started a variety of rock and funk groups in the late 1960s and early 1970s.Read more on
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