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Singer Rick James Suffers Stroke

November 10, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Funk singer Rick James suffered a stroke after a blood vessel ruptured in his neck and was in surgery Tuesday to repair the vessel, his spokesman said.

James, 50, was unable to walk, but doctors were optimistic he will recover without complications, publicist Steve Levesque said.

``The doctor called it a result of rock ‘n’ roll neck, the repeated rhythmic whiplash motion of the head and neck,″ he said.

James was performing at Denver’s Mile High Stadium on Friday when the blood vessel popped, Levesque said. He completed the show and was examined by doctors in Denver. They advised him to return to Los Angeles, where he lives, for further evaluation.

On Monday, James’s right side suddenly became numb and he was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Levesque said. James had ``full recognition and comprehension.″

Known for his 1981 hit ``Super Freak,″ James was on tour to promote his new album ``Urban Rapsody,″ a combination of ’70s funk and rap. ``James says he plans to resume his tour as soon as he recovers,″ Levesque said.

The singer had hip replacement surgery earlier this year to repair damage done ``from jumping around on stage and substance abuse,″ he said.

In 1996, James was freed from prison in California after serving more than two years for assaulting a woman.

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