'Super Freak' Rick James dead
Friday, August 6, 2004 Posted: 3:34 PM EDT (1934 GMT)
(CNN) -- Singer Rick James was found dead in his home Friday morning by his caretaker, a Los Angeles police Department spokesman said.
James, 56, was a musical icon of the early 1980's and credited with helping to create the "punk funk" style of music that was characterized in his 1981 album "Street Songs."
"Street Songs" was widely acclaimed as a masterpiece upon its release and featured such hits as "Super Freak," "Give it To Me Baby," and "Fire and Desire."
"Street Songs" went triple platinum and catapulted James into the forefront of the funk movement.
The album's gritty content earned James a bad boy reputation that he often had a tough time living down. Some critics said it led to his eventual involvement with drugs and a conviction for aggravated assault and false imprisonment in the 1990s.