Rick James Net Worth: Rick James was an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer who had a net worth of $35 million. And you also don't accumulate a net worth like that by being a comedy catchphrase – you do it with hard work, determination, and a healthy dollop of luck. His career in music had a humble beginning, with James singing on the street for tips. But he eventually got a record deal with Columbia, releasing a single along with his band The Mynah Birds entitled "Mynah Bird Hop"/"Mynah Bird Song." Unbeknownst to his band mates, James had joined the band while AWOL from the United States Naval Reserve. This led to their album being shelved, and James spending a year in the Brooklyn Brig. It was many years toiling in the music industry before his debut solo album Come Get It! was released in 1978. From there, he eventually came out with Street Songs two years later. It's this album that has what would become James' biggest hit and signature song "Super Freak." He never hit the same heights as he would during this period, but he remained a respected musician and solo artist until his stroke in 1998 left him a near-recluse. After enjoying a brief resurgence in popularity thanks to his appearance in a popular Chappelle's Show sketch, Rick James met his untimely death in 2004.
Born James Ambrose Johnson, Jr. (February 1, 1948 – August 6, 2004), in Buffalo, New York, US, he was a dominant funk singer/songwriter of the 1980s. Teenaged James started his music career as a frontman of various doo-wop, rhythm and blues bands in his hometown throughout the early 1960s, before going solo in the late 1970s. Thus, he was influenced by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and David Ruffin. After he dropped out of high school, James joined the US Navy to avoid conscription. But soon, he went AWOL and relocated to Toronto, Canada, where he re-entered his music career. There, he formed the rock-soul fusion band Mynah Birds, but it was his 1978 solo debut album Come Get It! that turned him into a force in the world of danceable funk. While this album spawned hits like Mary Jane and You and I, his signature hit, Super Freak, came from his 1981 album Street Songs. Not only Super Freak was nominated for a Grammy, it also remained a dependable party tune for years. While in 1990, it also contributed to the success of rapper MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This, which featured Hammer rapping over the catchy bass line from Super Freak. The song fetched them a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song, but only after James got the credits for it via lawsuit. It was James's only Grammy win. Leading an uproarious personal life, he got arrested on drug charges on several occasions and ended up serving almost 2 years in California's Folsom Prison. On 6 August 2004, he was found dead in his Los Angeles home. His official cause of death was deemed a heart attack, even though autopsy showed the presence of illegal drugs.