James Ingram Has Passed Away At The Age Of 66

UPDATE: According to TMZ, James Ingram succumbed to a lengthy battle with brain cancer.

ORIGINAL STORY: Grammy Award-winning R&B/Pop singer, keyboardist and producer James Ingram has died. Debbie Allen, Ingram’s longtime creative partner, confirmed the news this afternoon (January 29), according to Consequence Of Sound. A native of Akron, Ohio, James was 66 years old. His cause of death is not known at this time.

Ingram dominated the 1980s and early 1990s with ballads. He had two #1 songs: a 1981 duet with Patti Austin “Baby, Come To Me” and 1990’s “I Don’t Have The Heart.” The former was a Rod Temperton composition, produced by Quincy Jones; the latter was co-produced by Thom Bell. Meanwhile, Ingram’s two Grammy Awards stem from featuring on Q’s “One Hundred Ways” in late 1981. In 1985, he won for another Jones production, the “Yah Mo B There” collaboration with Michael McDonald. That song belonged to Ingram’s It’s Your Night LP.

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Other hits in Ingram’s collaborative catalog include “Somewhere Out There” (with Linda Ronstadt), “Just Once,” and “One Hundred Ways.” The last song of the three has been sampled by MF DOOM and Tha Dogg Pound.

Before his success in the ’80s, Ingram worked with the Revelation Funk band, recognized for its appearance in Dolemite. He also collaborated with Ray Charles. James’ younger brother Phillip would find fame with the Motown Records-backed band Switch.

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In the next decade, Ingram found success working with Quincy Jones, especially on his The Dude LP. After that work, Q produced It’s Your Night, which was later certified gold. Two years later, James participated in “We Are The World.” Since the late 1990s, Ingram did a lot of work on film soundtracks and collaborating. Twenty-years ago, he made his final US Top 200 chart appearance alongside John Tesh.

Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to the family and fans of James Ingram. Last week, 1970s and ’80s singer/producer Edwin Birdsong passed away.