Grammy-Winning R&B Singer-Songwriter James Ingram Dead at 66

Musician James Ingram performs onstage during the UNICEF Playlist with the A-List celebrity karaoke benefit on May 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Charley Gallay (Getty Images For UNICEF)

The music industry has suffered another incredible loss. R&B singer-songwriter James Ingram has died.

According to FOX San Diego, sources say the Akron, Ohio, native died on Tuesday. TMZ reports the cause of Ingram’s death was brain cancer. He was 66 years old.


One of his dearest friends, Debbie Allen, took to Twitter on Tuesday to express her grief and share the love she had for Ingram.

“I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir,” Allen tweeted. ” 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.”

Ingram was a vastly accomplished musician, having won two Grammy Awards and boasting collaborations with greats such as Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Anita Baker, and Michael McDonald. His notable hits include “One Hundred Ways,” “Baby, Come To Me,” and “Just Once.”


Ingram also had two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song. He even lent his music to the animation medium with “Somewhere Out There,” a chart-topping duet with Linda Ronstadt for the 1986 children’s film An American Tail.

One thing’s for sure: Ingram’s genius will also live on via his immaculate pen game. Ingram likely wrote some of your favorite songs—for example, Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” which he co-wrote with Jones. Or McDonald’s “Yah Mo B There,” co-written with Jones, McDonald and Rod Temperton.


But his fans will likely remember Ingram best for his vocals—and whew, what a vocalist. Three words: “The Secret Garden.”

Rest in power, Mr. Ingram. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.