James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

James Ingram

Not long ago we lost a rare gem in the world of music. We’ve taken a look at his life achievements here on earth, the success he achieved and the failures he overcame. James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar..

James Ingram

James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

Born James Edward Ingram

February 16, 1952

Akron, Ohio, U.S.

Died January 29, 2019 (aged 66)

Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Occupation: Musician, songwriter, record producer, actor

Years active: 1973–2019

Spouse(s): Debra Robinson (m. 1975)

Musical career

Origin: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Genres: R&B, pop, soul

Instruments: Vocals, keyboards

Labels Qwest, Intering

Associated acts Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Michael McDonald, Anita Baker

James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

James Edward Ingram was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist. He was a two-time Grammy Award-winner and a two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song.

Since beginning his career in 1973, Ingram had charted eight Top 40 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart from the early 1980s until the early 1990s, as well as thirteen top 40 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

In addition, he charted 20 hits on the Adult Contemporary chart (including two number-ones).

He had two number-one singles on the Hot 100: the first, a duet with fellow R&B artist Patti Austin, 1982’s “Baby, Come to Me” topped the U.S. pop chart in 1983; “I Don’t Have the Heart”, which became his second number-one in 1990 was his only number-one as a solo artist.

Moreover, in between these hits, he also recorded the song “Somewhere Out There” with fellow recording artist Linda Ronstadt for the animated film An American Tail.

The song and the music video both became gigantic hits. Ingram co-wrote “The Day I Fall in Love”, from the motion picture Beethoven’s 2nd (1993), and singer Patty Smyth’s “Look What Love Has Done”, from the motion picture Junior (1994), which earned him nominations for Best Original Song from the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammy Awards in 1994 and 1995.

Early Music

James Ingram was born in Akron, Ohio, where he lived with his parents until he moved in with his grandmother, when he was 10.

He later attended Akron’s East High School and 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.

Meanwhile, he also played keyboards for Ray Charles before becoming famous. His younger brother, Phillip Ingram, became prominent as a member of the Motown group Switch.

Musical Career

Ingram provided the vocals to “Just Once” and “One Hundred Ways” on Quincy Jones’s 1981 album The Dude, which earned Ingram triple Grammy nominations and won Best New Artist.

However, “One Hundred Ways” won him the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his work.

On December 11, 1981, Ingram appeared as a guest on the Canadian comedy series SCTV (which aired on NBC), singing “Just Once”. 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 such as Donna Summer, Ray Charles, Anita Baker, Viktor Lazlo, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Cole, and Kenny Rogers. In October 1990, he scored a No. 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, Ingram received three Grammy nominations: “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” (his second duet with recording artist Patti Austin).

Also, 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 Ingram and Quincy Jones co-wrote, for Best R&B Song; and the track “Party Animal” for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

In early 1985, he was again triple nominated, for his debut album (It’s Your Night) for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and its single, “Yah Mo B There” (a duet with fellow R&B musician Michael McDonald), for Best R&B Song and Best R&B 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 No. 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 TV’s General Hospital.

A second Austin–Ingram duet, “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”, was featured in the movie Best Friends (1982) and earned an Oscar nomination.

Furthermore, in 1984, he teamed up with Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes for the Top 40 ballad “What About Me?”.

James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

In 1985, 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.

Meanwhile, it was one of the last million-selling Gold-certified 45 RPM singles to be issued by the RIAA.

In the 1990s, 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 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.

More so, in 1993, they performed the song again in the film’s sequel Precious Moments Timmy’s Special Delivery.

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: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

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, 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.

Nevertheless, in 2006, Ingram and neo-soul singer Angie Stone teamed up on “My People”.

In 2011, 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 Richard, as well a solo of “Just Once”.

In 2012, Ingram appeared as himself in the ABC television show Suburgatory, in the episode “The Motherload”.

Also in 2012, he was a guest vocalist at Debbie Allen’s October 13 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”.


James Ingram died on January 29, 2019, aged 66, from brain cancer, at his home in Los Angeles. Choreographer-actress Debbie Allen announced his death on her official Twitter page.

James Ingram Studio Albums

James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

Compilation Albums

James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB SuperstarJames Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

Other Appearances

James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

Grammy Awards

James Ingram: The Life Story Of Top American RnB Superstar

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