LA County Coroner: Rick James Died Of An Enlarged Heart, But...
9 different drugs were found in his system and were listed as a contributing factor in his death:
Updated: 08:27 PM EDT
Tests Show James Died of Heart Attack
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Toxicology and other tests determined that funk singer Rick James died last month from a heart attack due to an enlarged heart, with numerous drugs including methamphetamine and cocaine contributing factors, the county coroner's office announced Thursday.
The death was declared an accident, said coroner's spokesman David Campbell, who emphasized that none of the drugs were found to be at life-threatening levels.
"He didn't die of a drug overdose," Campbell said.
James, 56, was found dead at his Hollywood residence on Aug. 6. The death became a coroner's case because James had not recently been seen by a doctor.
An autopsy was performed Aug. 7 but the finding of the cause of death was deferred while toxicology and other tests were performed by a coroner's pathologist.
On Thursday the cause of death was officially determined to be acute cardiac dysfunction due to idiopathic cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart.
The coroner's office also listed focal pneumonia and "effects of multiple drugs" as other conditions contributing to the cause of death.
"Toxicology revealed the presence of the following drugs: Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Citalopram (Celexa), Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Digoxin, Chlorpheniramine, methamphetamine, and cocaine," the statement said. "None of the drugs or drug combinations were found to be at levels that were life threatening in and of themselves."
James, best known for the 1981 hit "Super Freak," had a long history of cocaine addiction, which led to a prison term for assaulting two women.
In more recent years he suffered health problems, including a stroke.
09/16/04 20:26 EDT
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.