Rick James started the Mary Jane Girls as a solo project for Joanne "Jojo" McDuffie who was a backing singer for James in the studio and on tour. Enlisting the vocal talents of professional backing vocalists Maxine & Julia Waters, they all went into the studio to record some original Rick James songs. James, who was already with Motown, approached the label with the tapes and very nearly lost the deal until he explained the group concept. He then set about finding suitable members to complete the Mary Jane Girls line up a la Milli Vanilli, hired for their looks and not their vocal talents. Completing the line up were Cheryl "Cheri" Bailey, the valley girl, Candice "Candi" Ghent, the seductress and Kimberly "Maxi" Wuletich, the dominatrix. Their self titled debut album was released in 1983, with the sexy "All Night Long" becoming an R&B radio staple. The song peaked at #8 Dance/Disco, #11 R&B and did not make the Hot 100. No matter, the song became an example of the new R&B and has been sampled by The Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Mary J Blige, Jay-Z, Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube, Onar and Redman who sampled it on three of his songs. Where did James come up with the group name? Well, the name Mary Jane was used instead of marijuana, which Rick had a fondness for.