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Singer-songwriter James Ingram (1952-2019)


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Singer James Ingram, the two-time Grammy Award winner who also was nominated for two songwriting Oscars, died Tuesday of brain cancer. He was 66.

Among his hits were the songs "Just Once," "One Hundred Ways" and "I Don't Have the Heart" (his only No. 1 hit on the Billboard pop chart). He and producer Quincy Jones also wrote the song "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)," which was one of seven tunes from the 1982 Michael Jackson album "Thriller" to land in Billboard's Top 10.

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He was nominated for songwriting Academy Awards in back-to-back years:
  • Best Original Song: "The Day I Fall in Love" from "Beethoven's 2nd" (1993, shared with Carole Bayer Sager and Clif Magness).
  • Best Original Song: "Look What Love Has Done" from "Junior" (1994, shared with Sager, James Newton Howard and Patty Smyth).

In 1982, Gloria Monty, the executive producer of the ABC daytime drama "General Hospital," was looking for a song to underscore the romantic relationships of the character Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary). She decided on "Baby, Come to Me," a duet by Ingram and Patti Austin. The song, which featured Michael McDonald as a background vocalist, had been in release for several months, but it zoomed to the top of the charts after "General Hospital" began using it.

Ingram and McDonald teamed up in 1983 for the song "Yah Mo B There," a Top 20 hit that won a 1984-1985 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. They also co-wrote the song (with Rod Temperton and Jones). The title uses a shortened version of Yahweh -- the Hebrew name for God.

Ingram was known for his many collaborations with the multi-award winning producer Jones. One of the biggest occurred on January 21, 1985, when Jones presided over the recording of "We Are the World" by Ingram and many other big-name artists. The song -- designed to stimulate interest in African relief efforts -- was released on March 7, 1985 under the group name United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa. "We Are the World" became the fastest-selling pop single in history and went on to win four Grammys: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Music Video, Short Form.

Ingram was the fifth singer to deliver a solo verse for the song, after Kenny Rogers and before Tina Turner. He also preceded the great Ray Charles in a segment near the end of the production. 

In 2015, Vulture.com ranked 37 contributors to the "We Are the World" recording session. Ingram came in at No. 4 -- behind Stevie Wonder (at No. 1), Michael Jackson (No. 2) and Cyndi Lauper (No. 3). The Vulture piece said: "Ingram goes toe-to-toe with Ray Charles, singing a call-and-response, and he comes out on top. He gives it everything he’s got and a little bit more. He sings like this is really his one chance to be remembered, because it was. When he sings, 'We are the ones who make a brighter day,' you’re like, 'Yeah, you do'."

In 1986, Ingram and Linda Ronstadt recorded the song "Somewhere Out There" from the animated feature film "An American Tail." Written by James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, the song went to No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart and was nominated for a Best Song Oscar. It also won Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television.  

 

There are no words to convey how much my ❤️ aches with the news of the passing of my baby brother, James Ingram. With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James was simply magical. He was, & always will be, beyond compare. Rest In Peace my baby bro…You’ll be in my ❤️ forever

 

Thank you for your love.

Thank you for your friendship.

Thank you for your music.

Thank you for your legacy. #JamesIngram ❤️

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.❤️

IcSpRN3C_bigger.jpgjosh grobanVerified accoun@joshgroban

RIP the great James Ingram, a vocalist all vocalists looked up to

 

RIP James Ingram.....

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