James Ingram, the Grammy-winning singer who launched multiple hits on the R&B and pop charts and earned two Oscar nominations for his songwriting, has died, according to a friend. He was 66.
TV Fame star Debbie Allen, the actress-choreographer and frequent collaborator with Ingram, announced his death on Twitter on Tuesday.
Ingram was born on 16 February 1952 in Akron, Ohio.
He appeared on Quincy Jones’ 1981 album, The Dude, which earned him three Grammy nominations and one win for best R&B male vocal performance for One Hundred Ways.
In a statement, Jones called Ingram his “baby brother.” “With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James Ingram was simply magical... every beautiful note that James sang pierced your essence and comfortably made itself at home,” Jones said.
“But it was really no surprise because James was a beautiful human being, with a heart the size of the moon.
“James Ingram was, and always will be, beyond compare.”
In 1983 Ingram released his debut album, It’s Your Night, which included the hit Yah Mo Be There. The song, which featured Michael McDonald, became a Top 20 hit on the Billboard pop charts and won the Grammy for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal. Ingram also reached the top of the pop charts twice with the songs I Don’t Have the Heart and Baby, Come to Me, a duet with Patti Austin. Somewhere Out There, Ingram’s collaboration with Linda Ronstadt from the 1986 film An American Tail, reached No. 2 on the pop charts.
Ingram was also a talented songwriter: Alongside Jones, he co-wrote Michael Jackson’s P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), earning him a Grammy nomination for best R&B song. Ingram also scored Oscar nominations for best original song with The Day I Fall In Love from Beethoven’s 2nd and Look What Love Has Done from Junior.
Both tracks also competed for best original song at the Golden Globes.