Rick James, born James Ambrose Johnson, was a Funk & Soul/R&B artist/bass player who grew up in Buffalo, New York. He first started off singing on street corners with some neighborhood friends. He fled the country at age 15 in an act to avoid the Navy. He was sought to be selected in the draft, so he fled to Toronto, Canada where he then pushed his passion for music.
At the time his stage name was Big Jimmy. He joined the group with future Buffalo Springfield members Neil Young and Bruce Palmer, and with Goldy McJohn called the Mynah Birdscalled. They were originally called Sailor Boyz. although they were signed with Motown Records, they never released a record.
James joined back with Motown Records and started recording again after playing bass in many different bands. He released his first single titled “You and I” in 1978 as well as “Mary Jane”. These tracks were both on his Debut Album “Come Get It!”. This album went gold, and can be considered his most popular album to date.
The album composed after his debut solo album was “Bustin’ Out”, which featured another smash hit “Bustin’ Out of L Seven”. This album didn’t achieve as much success as the previous one, but his next one did. James released another number one hit “Give It to Me Baby” (March 1981), featured on the million-selling Street Songs in 1981, which also featured the hit “Super Freak.”