Rick James (born James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.; February 19, 1948 – August 6, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer, best known for being the major popularizer of funk music in the late 1970s and early 1980s thanks to million-selling hits such as «You and I» (1978), «Give It to Me Baby» (1981) and «Super Freak» (1981), the latter song crossing him over to pop audiences and selling over three million copies. It later contributed to the success of rapper MC Hammer’s «U Can’t Touch This» (1990), for which James sued him, in order to be credited. James won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song with Hammer for the song, his only Grammy win.
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