M. Caulfield/WireImage for The Recording AcademySinger James Ingram, whose hits include “Yah Mo Be There,” “One Hundred Ways,” “Just Once” and his respective duets with Linda Ronstadt and Patti Austin — “Somewhere Out There” and “Baby Come to Me” — has died, according to his friend Debbie Allen. He was 66.
Allen tweeted, “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.”
TMZ further reports that Ingram died from a form of brain cancer, which he’d been battling for a while.
The Akron, Ohio-born Ingram got his big break when he collaborated with Quincy Jones on the famed producer’s 1981 album, The Dude, providing vocals on “Just Once” and “One Hundred Ways.” He won the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “One Hundred Ways.”
In 1983, Ingram topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “Baby Come to Me,” a duet with Austin, after it was featured on the hit soap opera General Hospital.
In 1984, he received three more Grammy nominations for co-writing Michael Jackson‘s hit “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”; for another Austin duet, “How Do You Keep the Music Playing”; and for his own track “Party Animal.”
Ingram was nominated for Grammys three more times in 1985, for his debut album and its smash single “Yah Mo Be There,” a duet with Michael McDonald. Also in 1985, he was one of the dozens of artists who appeared on the charity single ‘We Are the World.”
Ingram’s 1987 duet with Ronstadt, “Somewhere Out There,” from the animated film An American Tail, hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, won the Grammy for Song of the Year and was also nominated for an Oscar. It was just one of many soundtrack songs Ingram recorded, for movies ranging from City Slickers to Sarafina! to Beethoven’s 2nd.
The singer’s last major hit was 1990’s #1 smash “I Don’t Have the Heart.”
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