Rick James had a stroke at the age of 50 while attempting a comeback in his music career in 1977. He was performing at Denver's Mammoth Events Center when it occurred.
The initial symptom of the stroke was when his right side of the body became numb. Rick James went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and found out that the initial cause of the stroke was a blood vessel that ruptured in his neck due to a whiplash motion of the head and neck during a concert. It was also known as ¨Rock 'n' Roll Neck¨. He was left unable to walk, but before he only had less of an ability to jump around on stage.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. The doctors came to a conclusion that he had a stroke from analyzing his symptoms.
For treatment, the doctor at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were going to schedule surgery, but then decided to focus more on the rehabilitation process. Most improvements in a person's ability to function are dependent on the first 30 days after a stroke. Further rehabilitation may be necessary, however, depending on the extent to which the brain is affected, the survivor's attitude, the rehabilitation team's skill and the cooperation of family and friends decides whether it is needed.
Two 1979 albums, Fire It Up and Bustin' Out of L Seven were also popular. His biggest hit, the Grammy-nominated "Super Freak," was released in 1981 on the album Street Songs. Rick James never had full-filled his comeback career. Rick James died after suffering pulmonary and cardiac failure at his home in Burbank, California, on August 6, 2004.