Chart Beat

James Ingram's Song Sales Skyrocket 6,500% Following His Death

James Ingram
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James Ingram

The R&B veteran’s catalog lands six entries on the R&B Digital Song Sales chart.

The late James Ingram populates the R&B Digital Song Sales chart – and accounts for half of the top 10 – as fans revisit the singer's catalog after his death.

Six tracks debut on the survey dated Feb. 9, led by a No. 2 opening for “Just Once (New Version).” The track is a 1999 rerecording of the same song that Ingram cut for Quincy Jones for the latter’s 1981 album, The Dude. “Once” sold 6,000 copies in the week ending Jan. 31, according to Nielsen Music, drastically up from a negligible figure in the previous frame.

Ingram died on Jan. 29 at age 66 of brain cancer. News of his death drew tributes from Jones, Gladys Knight and Debbie Allen, among others.

Besides “Once,” Ingram’s two biggest crossover hits also land in the top 10 on R&B Digital Song Sales. His duet with Patti Austin, “Baby, Come to Me,” starts at No. 4; the recording topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1983. The 1999 new version of his other Hot 100 leader, 1990’s “I Don’t Have The Heart,” debuts at No. 7.

Two renditions of “One Hundred Ways” round out Ingram’s top 10 takeover: The new version begins at No. 6, while the original, billed to Quincy Jones featuring James Ingram, enters at No. 10. The latter won Ingram a Grammy Award for best R&B vocal performance, male, in 1982.

Ingram captured his second and final statuette to date with a victory in 1985 for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal alongside Michael McDonald on “Yah Mo B There.” The collaboration also debuts on R&B Digital Song Sales this week, at No. 17.

The flurry of activity surrounding Ingram on the chart mirrors overall gains for the singer’s catalog: His total track sales surged to 24,000 in the week ending Jan. 31, according to Nielsen Music, up nearly 6,500 percent compared with the previous week. Streams, too, rallied 1,100 percent to 3.9 million in the same period.