Rick James
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"Rick James" was an American musician and composer.

Influenced by singers such as Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, James started singing in doo-wop and R&B groups as a teenager in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. After entering the U.S. Navy to avoid conscription/getting drafted, he desertion/deserted to Toronto, where he formed the fusion band Mynah Birds/The Mynah Birds, whose lineup once included Bruce Palmer, Neil Young, and Nick St. Nicholas. James' tenure with the group was interrupted after he was discovered recording with the group in Motown in 1966. Surrendering to military authorities, he served a one-year prison term. Upon release, James moved to California to resume his duties with the Mynah Birds though the group eventually split. James began a series of rock bands in California and worked with Motown under the assumed name "Ricky Matthews" as a songwriter.

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