Legendary R&B singer, songwriter and multi-Grammy Award winner James Ingram, who had multiple No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits over his decades-long career, has died at age 66. The news was shared via Twitter by Ingram’s friend and creative partner Debbie Allen on Tuesday.
Actress and choreographer Debbie Allen reacted to the news Tuesday, saying, “I have lost my dearest friend.”
Sources close to the singer tell us James had been fighting brain cancer for an extended period.
The smooth soulful-voiced Ingram recorded several chart-toppers in the ’80s, including his #1 duet with Patti Austin, “Baby Come to Me” … as well as “Somewhere Out There” with Linda Ronstadt, “100 Ways” and “Just Once.”
Ingram’s smooth, silky baritone dominated the R&B, adult contemporary and pop charts throughout the 1980s with a series of high-profile movie themes and duets including nine hits on the Hot 100, including a pair of No. 1s: “Baby Come to Me,” with Patti Austin, in 1983, and “I Don’t Have the Heart” in 1990. Other top 20-charting Hot 100 hits included “Just Once” (No. 17 in 1981, Quincy Jones featuring Ingram), “Yah Mo Be There” and “Somewhere Out There” (No. 2 in 1987, with Linda Ronstadt). He also logged 19 hits on the Adult Contemporary airplay chart and 18 entries on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
He won a Grammy for “Yah Mo B There” — his duet with Michael McDonald — and another for “100 Ways.” He was nominated for 12 other times for Grammys.
James worked closely Quincy Jones over the years, recording and writing hits. For instance, he and Jones co-wrote Michael Jackson’s smash hit, “P.Y.T.” from the “Thriller” album. He also teamed up with Quincy for the mega baby-making hit, “Secret Garden.”
During his lifetime, Ingram additionally recorded soundtrack songs for such films as Sarafina!, Cats Don’t Dance and City Slickers, and also worked with Ray Charles, Anita Baker, Donna Summer, Natalie Cole, Kenny Rogers and Nancy Wilson. He scored his only solo No. 1 hit, “I Don’t Have the Heart,” in 1990.
While it’s not known yet, which type of brain cancer Ingram suffered from, primary brain tumors form in brain cells and are categorized by the type of cell in which they first develop.
Brain tumors have more than 120 different types, according to the National Brain Tumor Society. The most common primary brain tumors are called…