James Ingram, the Grammy-winning R&B singer whose repertoire boasts numerous hits including “Come to Me” with Patti Austin and “Just Once,” has died. He was 66.
According to a TMZ.com report, the singer died following a long battle with brain cancer.
His longtime friend, actress and choreographer Debbie Allen tweeted Tuesday: “I have lost my dearest friend.”
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.❤️ pic.twitter.com/TDJfpbbJWa— Debbie Allen (@msdebbieallen) January 29, 2019
Nominated 14 times for a Grammy Award, Ingram won the coveted honor for the 1983 hit “Yah Mo B There,” a duet with Michael McDonald, and his solo effort, “One Hundred Ways,” in 1981. Other hits included “I Don’t Have the Heart” and the duets “Baby Come To Me” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” with Patti Austin (featured in the film “Best Friends”), and “Somewhere Out There” with Linda Ronstadt (the theme song for the animated film “An American Tail”).
In a statement released Tuesday, Quincy Jones, who frequently collaborated with Ingram, wrote, it part: “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.”
Ingram was nominated for best original song Oscars for co-writing “The Day I Fall in Love” from “Beethoven’s 2nd” in 1993, and “Look What Love Has Done” from “Junior:in 1994. His songwriting credits also include Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” co-written with Quincy Jones for “Thriller.”
The singer-songwriter was born and in Akron, Ohio, and eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music beginning with singing with the group Revelation Funk and playing keyboards in Ray Charles’ band.
His final album, “Stand (In the Light),” was released in 2018, and features a remake of “Yah Mo B There.” It was his first album in almost 15 years.