Rick James may have died of "natural causes," as his label announced the day after his death, but a Los Angeles County Coroner's report released Thursday confirms the singer's last few days may have been anything but homeopathic.

The coroner's office officially ruled James' Aug. 6 death "accidental," but also noted that no fewer than nine drugs were found in his system, including methamphetamine and cocaine.

As E! Online exclusively reported Aug. 7, James was spotted just days prior to his death at a Hollywood party using cocaine, and many of his friends privately were concerned that the former "Superfreak" was back to his partying ways before his untimely death.

James and his family had maintained that the R&B/funk star successfully kicked his cocaine habit and was sober after years spent battling a crack addiction.

The "Give It to Me Baby" singer spent time in a Los Angeles jail during the mid 1990s for a 1991 crack-fueled assault and had said in past interviews that his time behind bars had convinced him to stay clean.

In addition to cocaine and crystal meth, the Los Angeles county coroner's report noted the presence of seven other drugs found during the autopsy--specifically Xanax, Valium, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Digoxin, Chlorpheniramine and Vicodin. No single drug was found in quantities that would establish lethal quantities, hence the accidental death ruling.

The singer's official cause of death remains heart attack, according to the coroner's office. The 56-year-old had been suffering from several health issues, including diabetes, a stroke in 1998 and heart-related problems in recent years.

James remains best-known for his 1981 hit "Super Freak." However, the Grammy winner was more than a one-hit wonder. He sold millions of records in the 1980s and is widely credited with saving Motown Records from bankruptcy with hit albums like 1981's Street Songs.

In addition, James wrote and produced songs for Teena Marie, Eddie Murphy, Mary Jane Girls, the Temptations and Smokey Robinson. He also licensed his work for sampling by artists such as Mary J. Blige and, famously, M.C. Hammer.

The R&B star's death came just as the '80s legend was making a comeback of sorts. Dave Chappelle's Chappelle's Show recently introduced James' music, unmistakable swagger and funk-filled persona to a new, younger demographic via a particularly memorable skit on the Comedy Central series. James was also reportedly meeting with Paramount and several other studios to have his upcoming memoirs turned into a feature-length film, with Chappelle in talks to star. The singer had also recently recorded more than 20 songs for a new album.

The beloved multi-instrumentalist received an all-star send-off memorial service in Los Angeles Aug. 11 before being buried in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, two days later.

  • Share
  • Tweet

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.