A Rockapaedia Obituary
James Ingram died aged sixty-six from brain cancer on 29th January 2019.
James Ingram was born in Akron, Ohio, where he attended Akron's East High School and received a track scholarship to the University of Akron. Subsequently he moved to Los Angeles and played with the band Revelation Funk, which made an appearance in the Rudy Ray Moore film Dolemite. He also later played keyboards for Ray Charles before becoming famous.
James Ingram provided the vocals to "Just Once" and "One Hundred Ways" on Quincy Jones's 1981 album The Dude, which earned him triple Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. "One Hundred Ways" won him the Grammy Award for Best Male Rythm&Blues Vocal Performance for his work. On elventh of December 1981, James appeared as a guest on the Canadian comedy series SCTV , singing "Just Once". James Ingram's debut album, It's Your Night, was released in 1983 and included the ballad "There's No Easy Way". He worked with other notable artists including Donna Summer, Ray Charles, Anita Baker, Viktor Lazlo, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Cole, and Kenny Rogers. In October 1990, he scored a number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the love ballad "I Don't Have the Heart", from his 'It's Real' album.
In 1984, James Ingram received three additional Grammy nominations: "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (his second duet with recording artist Patti Austin), for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals; the US Top 10 single, "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" for Michael Jackson, which James Ingram and Quincy Jones co-wrote, for Best Rythm&Blues Song; and the track "Party Animal" for Best Male Rythm&Blues Vocal Performance. In early 1985, he was nominated for his debut album (It's Your Night) for Best Male Rythm&Blues Vocal Performance, and for its single, "Yah Mo B There", a duet with fellow Rythm&Blues musician Michael McDonald, for Best Rythm&Blues Song and Best Rythm&Blues Performance by a Duo or Group, and won the latter.
James Ingram is perhaps best known for his hit collaborations with other vocalists. He scored a number 1 hit on the Hot 100 chart in February 1983 with Patti Austin on the duet "Baby, Come to Me", a song made popular on American TV's General Hospital. A second Austin–James Ingram duet, "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?", was featured in the movie Best Friends (1982) and earned an Oscar nomination. In 1984, he teamed up with Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes for the Top 40 ballad "What About Me?" In 1985, James Ingram won a Grammy Award for "Yah Mo B There", a duet with Michael McDonald, and participated in the charity single "We Are the World".
James Ingram teamed with American vocalist Linda Ronstadt and had a top ten hit in the U.S. and the U.K. in 1987 with "Somewhere Out There", the theme from the animated feature film An American Tail. The song was awarded the 1987 Grammy Award for Song of the Year. It also received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. It was one of the last million-selling Gold-certified 45 RPM singles to be issued by the RIAA.
In the 1990s, James Ingram's highest-profile team-up came again with Quincy Jones, on the song "The Secret Garden". This song also featured vocals by Barry White, El DeBarge, and Al B. Sure!. Soundtrack songs were popular for James Ingram in the 1990s. From the movie Sarafina! came "One More Time", and from City Slickers came "Where Did My Heart Go?" In 1991, he and Melissa Manchester performed the song "The Brightest Star" in the animated Christmas film Precious Moments Timmy's Gift. In 1993, they performed the song again in the film's sequel Precious Moments Timmy's Special Delivery. James Ingram's 1994 composition "The Day I Fall in Love", a duet with Dolly Parton, was the theme song for the movie Beethoven's 2nd and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. James Ingram and Parton performed the song live on the Oscar broadcast. In 1997, he and Carnie Wilson co-wrote the song "Our Time Has Come" and lent it to the animated film Cats Don't Dance.
During the summer of 2004, James Ingram participated in the U.S. television reality show Celebrity Duets as a duet partner. The show combined professional vocalists, of various musical genres, with entertainers of different backgrounds in a weekly elimination competition. In 2006, James Ingram and neo-soul singer Angie Stone teamed up on "My People". In 2011, James Ingram joined Cliff Richard's list of special guest performers on his Soulicious Tour performing at various UK venues during November. He sang two songs from the album with Cliff Richard, as well a solo of "Just Once". In 2012, James Ingram appeared as himself in the American ABC television show Suburgatory, in the episode "The Motherload". Also in 2012, he was a guest vocalist at Debbie Allen's 13th of October live show at the corner of Crenshaw Blvd. and Martin Luther King Blvd. celebrating the arrival of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, singing R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly".
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