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James Ingram, Grammy-Winning R&B Singer Dead at Age 66

R&B singer and two-time Grammy-winner, James Ingram has died at age 66.

Actress and choreographer Debbie Allen, a friend and collaborator of Ingram’s announced the chart-topping singer, songwriter, and producer’s death on her Twitter account on January 29.

Debbie Allen on Twitter

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.❤️

 

The exact cause of death hasn’t been confirmed yet, however TMZ is reporting that the producer died from brain cancer.

The two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song won two Grammys during his career for his song “One Hundred Ways” and his duet with Michael McDonald, “Yah Mo B There".

The Akron, Ohio native had nine hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Out of those hits were two No. 1s, “Baby Come to Me,” with Patti Austin, in 1983, and “ I Don’t Have the Heart” in 1990. Ingram had other hits like “Just Once” (No. 17 in 1981, Quincy Jones featuring Ingram) and "Somewhere Out There" (No. 2 in 1987, with Linda Ronstadt). Ingram also co-wrote Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” with Quincy Jones.

Funeral plans have not yet been released.

Many entertainers took to to Twitter to give their condolences to the multi-talented artist.

SheilaEdrummer on Twitter

Today we loose An incredible icon my dear friend Mr. James Ingram. I am going to miss you my friend. Plz pray for the family. Thank u. God bless

Quincy Jones on Twitter

There are no words to convey how much my ❤️ aches with the news of the passing of my baby brother, James Ingram. With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James was simply magical. He was, & always will be, beyond compare.

The Great James Ingram (I always dubbed him "of the notorious Ingram Brothers"--for his brother Phillip also a monster musician/singer in his own right was in the band Switch...which begat Debarge) was such an awesome talent and occupied a rare space in pop music. He could SAAAAAANG, but under the guidance of Quincy Jones found a music backdrop that allowed him to dwell in spaces meant for Kenny Loggins or Barry Manilow. I mean think about it: he had the smashes of a lifetime #JustOnce #OneHundredWays #SomewhereOutThere #IDontHaveTheHeart #YahMoBeThere #BabyComeToMe (ok I'll allow #PartyAnimal ????????????) #Secret Garden #HowDoYouKeepTheMusicPlaying-even as I think about it, Ingram's career more than anything set the stage for The Chronic (yes Dre & Snoop meaning vocally blllllllack musically digestible)....just stay w me y'all, it was a challenge to enjoy the benefits of a strong arsenal of hits w/o having to ✌????"make it more palatable"✌????to your audience--(especially in the 80s) cats were catching hell for this.... i mean Johnny Mathis wasn't exactly singing "do the Hitch Hike"--and the only SUUUUTERRRN fried soul belter I can think of during that era that had the numbers to back it up was the original proprietor of crossover: Ray Charles. Am I falling into a rabbit whole (yes that's a pun)--just hang on y'all I'm tryna say it's a GIFT to navigate a thin line of EXPLICIT blackness (not in a caricature way but more in a "SPPPPINNNNDIN uurvrey Diiime to keep you taaauuwkin on the line" way) and still occupy a space that the Pendergrass & the Marvin Junior's of the world never got to enjoy (lemme add Osbourne was right behind him, and no matter how we joke and take for granted Lionel "OWWWWL GUURL" Ritchie was the clear lead but caught some flack) but man literally his entire career he put it down. Even giving us the term "tenderoni" (yep his "you see these cufflinks?" jokes about them Thriller residual "PYT" checks were hilariously legendary amongst circles) as we dwell further into auto tune abyss, his brand (& his brother's brand) of sho nuffness will be missed DESPERATELY.

115 Likes, 6 Comments - Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on Instagram: "The Great James Ingram (I always dubbed him "of the notorious Ingram Brothers"--for his brother..."

shonda rhimes on Twitter

Sending you love. Today the world lost a genius. James Ingram was a musician, artist, and humanitarian. He will be remembered for his brilliance and kind heart. https://t.co/t8JtEpygKO