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Rick James

Born: 1948-02-01 - Died: 2004-08-06
Cause of Death:
Heart Failure


Death Summary: Aside from his well-known drug abuse, Rick James had diabetes, a pacemaker, and had previously had a stroke. Add these elements to the nine different drugs that were found in his system according to the coroner's report and you get the pulmonary failure and cardiac failure that claimed his life.

Drugs found in his system included: Xanax, Valium, Cocaine, Heroin, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Vicodin, Marijuana, and MDMA.

Who was Rick James : Rick James was born James Abrose Johnson, Jr. His legacy in funk music is overshadowed perhaps only by his legacy in drug-use.

"Cocaine is hell of a drug," he famously says in an interview from Comedian Dave Chappelle's short-lived sketch comedy show Chappelle's Show.

This episode of Chappelle's show based on a true story about incidents occurring between James and actor Charlie Murphy, could actually be credited for making Rick James a household name again. Quote from the show like "I'm Rick James, Bitch" are often cited throughout popular culture.

Aside from his Chappelle's Show appearance/parody his biggest claim to fame was the song Superfreak which would later be sampled as the basis for the smash hit "U Cant Touch This" by MC Hammer.

James recorded for Motown records in the late seventies and early 80s and built himself a reputation as for lack of a better term, a druggie.
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