RICK JAMES:

Rick James burst on the music scene in the late 1970’s with the hit “You and I,” he followed it up with “Mary Jane.”  Rick was red hot and he discovered Teena Marie and the Mary Jane Girls.  His uncle, Melvin Franklin (late Temptation member) brought him to the attention of Berry Gordy.   James was savvy in the meeting with Gordy, he refused to sign a record deal unless he was given complete ownership of his publishing. Gordy relented.  This power move prevented James from going broke in later years before his death.

James was not only a talented singer but he was a talented songwriter who penned hits for the Mary Jane Girls, Smokey Robinson (duet) and Teena Marie. Throughout his career, he tried to quit drugs but he couldn’t shake his addiction.  He became difficult to work with.  During a recent interview, Teena Marie said she and Rick often argued like siblings, they were scheduled to record a duet but they had an argument so Marie called Eddie Levert to substitute, due to scheduling, he was unable to but recommended his son Gerald Levert.   At the time, Gerald hadn’t come out. Marie passed on the offer, a few months later she heard Gerald singing “Casanova,” and she was blown away.

Over the years Rick James would do time in jail for assault and he began living in seclusion.  During this time, the Mary Jane Girls disbanded and it was rumored that one of the members, allegedly, went to work as a receptionist for Motown Records.  Due to the earlier deal James struck with Gordy, he was receiving "monthly" checks totaling $50,000-$75,0000 (publishing rights) up until his death.  This is why you never heard of Rick James going broke despite his addiction.

EDITOR-PUBLISHER-FOUNDER: MYRA PANACHE
THIS SITE IS UPDATED EVERY 4 WEEKS
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, TITLE TRADEMARK REGISTER
IN THE U.S. AND POSSESSIONS. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

 

return to top