Two-time Grammy Award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee James Ingram died in Los Angeles on 29 January. He was 66 years old.
The popular American RnB singer and songwriter enjoyed huge success throughout his career, with eight Top 40 hits on the US Billboard Hot 100 from the early 1980s to 1990s.
Debbie Allen, actress and friend of Ingram, took to Twitter to announce the sad news.
“I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir. He will always be cherished, loved and remembered for his genius, his love of family and his humanity. I am blessed to have been so close. We will forever speak his name,” she wrote.
Ingram’s first No. 1 hit was in 1982, “Baby, Come To Me,” a duet with Patti Austin. His second No. 1 hit and most loved song, “I Don’t Have The Heart”, came out in 1990. This was also Ingram’s only top solo song.
James Ingram was nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes in 1994 and 1995 for co-writing “The Day I Fall in Love”, from the motion picture Beethoven’s 2nd (1993) and “Look What Love Has Done”, from the motion picture Junior (1994).
Ingram was born in Ohio in 1952; he later moved to Los Angeles and started playing with the band Revelation Funk, which also appeared in the Rudy Ray Moore film Dolemite. As his career waited to kick off, he played keyboards for Ray Charles.
In 1981, Ingram provided vocals on Quincy Jones’ album The Dude, and earned three Grammy nominations. He won the Best Male RnB Vocal Performance Grammy in 1982 for “One Hundred Ways”.
In 1984, Ingram along with Jones co-wrote “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” for Michael Jackson.
Ingram’s second Grammy Award came as Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “Yah Mo B There” with Michael McDonald.
Tributes from fans and music industry poured in across social media.
“So saddened to hear this. First met James when I was in Shalamar, he played on “Friends” album and co-wrote on another. Such a talent vocally and musically, a family man, witty and wise. My condolences to his family and friends…Rest in Heaven James Ingram,” tweeted Jody Watley.
“RIP the great James Ingram, a vocalist all vocalists looked up to,” tweeted Josh Groban.