1. Headline
  1. Headline
IMAGE: James
Matt Sayles  /  AP
Ty James, left, Tazman James, and Rick James Jr., right, arrive at the memorial service for their father musician Rick James.
updated 8/12/2004 4:48:18 PM ET 2004-08-12T20:48:18

Hundreds of friends and fans gathered Thursday at a memorial service to remember Rick James.

Stretch limousines pulled up to the auditorium at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills, where a crowd of about 1,200 came to remember the “Super Freak” singer with musical performances.

Guests who arrived at the service included Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., singer Chaka Kahn, Jermaine Jackson and others who worked with James or were fans of his work.

James died in his sleep last week at his home near Universal City. He was 56.

“On behalf of the James family, we would like to thank all of his fans. This is his moment of glory. He would’ve loved to have known he had this much support. We appreciate your prayers,” Ty James, the singer’s daughter, said Thursday.

Linda Truitt, a 47-year-old fan, attended the service and praised him and his work. “He was real — not like other entertainers,” Truitt said.

“He did what he wanted to do, how he wanted to do it, his way. Rick James forever,” she added.

James’ career peaked in 1981 with the Grammy-winning hit “Super Freak,” but the singer had enjoyed a bit of a revival recently, partly due to comedian Dave Chappelle portraying him as violent and arrogant on his “Chappelle’s Show.” James himself appeared on the Comedy Central show.

An autopsy has failed to determine the singer’s cause of death.

James, who suffered a stroke in 1998, was a diabetic and also had a pacemaker.

He also had a history of cocaine addiction that led to two assault convictions in the 1990s and a two-year stretch in prison.

Coroner’s officials said Thursday they were still awaiting results of a toxicology test, which they said could take several weeks.

James, who was born in Buffalo, N.Y., will be buried Saturday in his hometown following a funeral service.

He is survived by three children and two grandchildren.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

TODAY's Takeaway
  1. TODAY

    Savannah won’t ‘overshare’; rapping medic cracks up anchors

    4/17/2014 8:38:13 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:38:13
  1. After helpful mom accidentally steals car, rightful owner is found

    When Nekisia Davis asked her mom to move her car and her friends' cars while she went on vacation, she didn't expect that she would instead accidentally move the wrong car, prompting the rightful owner to believe her car was stolen.

    4/17/2014 9:14:16 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T21:14:16
  1. Macy's

    Swimmer Ryan Lochte dives into underwear modeling

    4/17/2014 6:29:23 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T18:29:23
  1. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    Chelsea Clinton is pregnant! Former first daughter expecting first child this year

    4/17/2014 10:32:13 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T22:32:13
  1. Edgard Garrido / Reuters

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    4/17/2014 8:24:21 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:24:21
  1. Have you tried an elimination diet? Weigh in on the food fad

    Could eliminating certain foods from your diet prevent allergies, fatigue, or headaches? Some people think so.

    4/17/2014 8:30:46 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:30:46