January 30, 2019 12:11 pm
Updated: January 30, 2019 4:43 pm

James Ingram dead: Grammy-winning soul singer dies, aged 66

ABOVE: Singer James Ingram has died at the age of 66, according to his long-time collaborator Debbie Allen.


American R&B icon James Ingram died on Jan. 29 at age 66. Ingram was an acclaimed songwriter and a record producer.

He was best-known for hits such as I Don’t Have the Heart (1983), Just Once (1994) and his collaboration with Linda Ronstadt on Somewhere Out There for the 1986 animated-film, An American Tail.

Ingram’s cause of death has not yet been revealed, however, it’s being heavily speculated that the singer was fighting brain cancer for some time.

With Quincy Jones by his side, Ingram spawned the 1982 Michael Jackson smash-hit, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).

WATCH: The iconic 1986 collaboration between James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt on Somewhere Out There

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Longtime friend Debbie Allen confirmed Ingram’s death on Tuesday morning in a heartfelt tweet.

“I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir,” Allen wrote.

“He will always be cherished, loved and remembered for his genius, his love of family and his humanity,” added the 69-year-old actress. “I am blessed to have been so close. We will forever speak his name.”

Ingram was born Feb. 16, 1952, in Akron, Ohio. He moved to L.A. at a young age to launch his music career.

He started in a funk band under the moniker Revelation Funk before joining Ray Charles’ on tour as the keyboard player.

James Ingram performs on ‘The Hippest Trip At Sea’ Soul Train Cruise on Feb. 26, 2015.

Earl Gibson III/WireImage

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Throughout his solo career, which kickstarted in the early 1980s, Ingram was nominated for 14 individual Grammy Awards. He won his first in 1982 for “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance” with One Hundred Ways. 

His second followed in 1985 with Yah Mo B There. The song featured Michael McDonald and the pair won for “Best R&B Duo.”

Ingram was nominated for an Oscar two years in a row for “Best Original Song” in 1994 and 1995, with The Day I Fall in Love and Look What Love Has Done.

“One of God’s truly greatest talents passed away yesterday,” wrote one user. “James Ingram, if you don’t know him, was not only an amazing man but one of the greatest singers of all time. Thank you, James. R.I.P.”

James Ingram attends the Lexus Listening Lounge pre-Grammy cocktail party at Area Nightclub on Feb. 6, 2008, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

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As of this writing, details on Ingram’s funeral service have not been revealed.


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