an image to return to the tributes main page.
here to see James Ingram at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival 2009.
19 February 1952 - 29 January 2019
Ohio-born R&B singer, composer and keyboard player, James
Edward Ingram has died at the age of 66 after a long battle with
Quincy Jones quickly chose Ingram to perform both “Just Once”
and “One Hundred Ways” on Jones’ upcoming album,
“The Dude.” Released in 1980, The Dude was a multi-platinum
international success and resulted in three Grammy nominations for
Ingram: Best New Artist, Best Pop Male Vocal, and Best R&B Vocal
for “One Hundred Ways,” for which he won his first Grammy.
Ingram also made Grammy history when - in his first live performance
ever as a singer - he performed “Just Once” as the telecast's
opening act and became the first artist to open a Grammy ceremony
with a ballad and the only artist to win a Grammy without having
his own album in release. The Dude remains the most Grammy-nominated
album in history and marked the first of 15 nominations Ingram has
received to date.
After this stunning debut, Ingram’s much-anticipated 1983
solo album, “It’s Your Night,” surpassed industry
expectations. The album was the debut for the Michael McDonald collaboration
“Yah Mo Be There,” (Ingram's 2nd Grammy) which was honoured
with the Grammy for Best R&B Performance for a Group or Duo,
and “There's No Easy Way” was considered one of the
year’s standout ballads. It’s Your Night sold nearly
one million copies; secured an unprecedented achievement by appearing
simultaneously on both The Top 20 Pop and The Top 5 R&B Charts.
Ultimately, “Yah Mo Be There” became the most-played
song of the year.
Ingram’s talents as a songwriter and performer were tapped
by some of the most celebrated artists of the era, most prominent
was his “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” for Michael Jackson’s
Thriller (1982), which sold more than 50 million units,. He performed
“Baby Come To Me,” with Patti Austin (1984) on her debut
album, which went on to become a No. 1 Pop record. Other chart-topping,
Top 10 collaborations include “The Secret Garden,” the
No.1 hit with Barry White, Al B. Sure and El Debarge on Quincy Jones'
multi-platinum Back on the Block album, (1990). Ingram, as a song
writer is timeless he received Grammy recognition for his participation
on the song entitled “Good Life,” in the “Best
Rap Song” category, performed by Kanye West (featuring T-Pain)
Hollywood soon called for Ingram’s wide-ranging songwriting
and vocal abilities and several hit singles for blockbuster motion
and animated pictures followed. “How Do You Keep The Music
Playing” - a songwriting collaboration between Michel Legrand
and Marilyn and Alan Bergman, performed by Ingram and Patti Austin
- was featured in Best Friends (1982) and received a Grammy Award
nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group as well as an Academy Award nomination
in the Original Song category.
Other important contributions to feature films include “Don't
Make Me No Never Mind,” co-written with Quincy Jones and Roy
Gaines for Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple (1985), and
Ingram’s duet with Anita Baker, “When You Love Someone,”
by Bryan Adams, for Forget Paris (1995).
”Somewhere Out There,” performed by Ingram and Linda
Ronstadt for Steven Spielberg’s animated American Tail (1986)
also received a Grammy for Song of the Year. Then 1993 and 1994
brought Ingram back-to-back Academy Award nominations. His duets
with Dolly Parton, “The Day I Fall in Love,” featured
in Beethoven 2 (1993), and Anita Baker, “Look What Love Has
Done,” the theme song from Junior (1994), were songwriting
collaborations with Carole Bayer Sager and recognised in Oscar’s
Original Song category.
The ‘90s were a fruitful decade for Ingram, who began it
by co-producing “I Don't Have the Heart” with Thom Bell
- the first and only time Bell has co-produced on any project -
and taking it to No. 1 in 1990. In 1999, Ingram released “Forever
More”: The Best of James Ingram, which included some of his
biggest hits as well as new material
Worldwide acclaim has led to concert tours in the U.S. and abroad,
where he continues to play before sold-out stadiums in The Philippines,
Japan, Singapore, Dubai, Brunei, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Fans at
home have been able to see Ingram perform live everywhere from Compton
to The White House.
The blessings of success also have allowed Ingram to pursue two
of his personal passions: humanitarian work and composition for
live theatre. In 1987, Ingram was hand-picked by Quincy Jones to
perform in “We are the World,” the universal gift and
legendary singing and fund-raising effort from the recording industry,
which raised more than $100 million in aid for those suffering from
famine in Africa. Ingram also continues to work with long-time collaborator,
choreographer/producer Debbie Allen on a number of musical projects.
Most recently, they partnered on Stand (In the Light) and several
musical theatre works including “Brothers of the Night,”
“The Legend” and “Alex in Wonderland.”
Faith and family are Ingram's main sources of inspiration, driving
his industry achievements; legendary collaborations with revered
mentors and peers; humanitarian work; and celebrated performances
at some of the most-high-profile events of our time, including The
Oscars, The Grammy Awards and The Super Bowl. The son of a Deacon,
Ingram is one of six children and a self-taught musician, adept
at piano, guitar, bass, drums and synthesizer. Today, he makes his
home in Los Angeles with Debbie, his wife of 36 years, and their
”Music is an important part of my life, Ingram notes,
“but it's not all of my life…my family’s my life.
I never confuse who I am with what I do.”