Need Breaking Updates?
Subscribe Now and Receive Breaking Stories directly to your email inbox daily
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.
Singer-songwriter and record producer James Ingram has died, according to TMZ and his longtime friend, actress Debbie Allen. TMZ reports he passed away following a battle with brain cancer. He was 66 years old.
Born in Ohio, Ingram began playing music from a young age, performing in a band called Revolution Funk in the 1970s. The group decamped to California for two years, with Ingram deciding to pursue his career in Los Angeles instead of going back to Ohio. Soon, he was playing and singing in sessions for artists such as Ray Charlesand Marvin Gaye. Things took a huge turn in 1980, when Ingram was discovered by Quincy Jones, who featured him prominently on his 1980 album The Dude.
Ingram would score three Grammy nominations for his work on The Dude, which marked his debut as a solo artist. He won the award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, for “One Hundred Ways,” in 1982. After more collaborations with Quincy (including Michael Jackson’s Thriller cut “P.Y.T.”) and artists such as Patti Austin, he teamed with Michael McDonald on “Yah Mo B There,” a duet that would both of them the Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1985.
The next decade would see Ingram dive into film work, composing original songs for movies such as Sarafina!, Beethoven’s 2nd (with Dolly Parton), An American Tail, Beverly Hills Cop II, and others. His final album as a recording artist, Stand (In the Light), was released in 2018.
As the New York Times’ Jon Caramanica reports, Quincy Jones issued the following statement in response to news of Ingram’s passing:
There are no words to convey how much my heart aches with the news of the passing of my baby brother James Ingram. With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James Ingram was simply magical. From the minute I first heard his voice on the demo tape for “Just Once,” to “One Hundred Ways,” his classic duet with Patti Austin “How Do You Keep the Music Playing,“ “Secret Garden,” “We Are the World,” and all our recordings, every beautiful note that James sang pierced your essence and comfortably made itself at home. 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. Rest In Peace baby brother. You will be in my heart forever.