Grammy-winning R&B singer James Ingram has died at age 66, according to a post shared by his friend and creative partner Debbie Allen, and his many famous friends and admirers are paying tribute to the soul legend.
During his decades-long career, Ingram moved many with his soulful voice, earning two Grammys and two No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. He also helped write songs recorded by Michael Jackson and Ray Charles.
Frequent collaborator Quincy Jones — Ingram was a co-writer on Michael Jackson’s top 10 Hot 100 hit “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” and sang on “We Are the World,” among other Jones projects — sent a statement to Billboard following the news of Ingram’s death. “There are no words to convey how much my heart aches with the news of the passing of my baby brother James Ingram,” Jones said. “With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James Ingram was simply magical. From the minute I first heard his voice on the demo tape for ‘Just Once,’ to ‘One Hundred Ways,’ his classic duet with Patti Austin ‘How Do You Keep the Music Playing,’ ‘Secret Garden,’ ‘We Are the World,’ and all of our recordings, every beautiful note that James sang pierced your essence and comfortably made itself at home. But it was really no surprise because James was a beautiful human being, with a heart the size of the moon. James Ingram was, and always will be, beyond compare. Rest In Peace baby brother. You will be in my heart forever.”
The Recording Academy also paid tribute to the Grammy-winning artist. “Two-time Grammy winner James Ingram was a soulful, chart-topping singer and songwriter,” reads a statement from Neil Portnow, president/CEO of the Recording Academy. “A 14-time Grammy nominee, Ingram earned two Grammy Awards in the 1980s: Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for ‘One Hundred Ways’ and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal for ‘Yah Mo B There,’ a duet with Michael McDonald. As a songwriter, he collected several hits with an impressive roster of artists including Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and the Pointer Sisters, among others. Ingram’s rich voice and masterful songwriting has made a lasting impact on the music industry. Our thoughts go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.”
Celebrities took to social media to pay tribute to the “I Don’t Have the Heart” singer. Check out their reactions below:
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.?? pic.twitter.com/TDJfpbbJWa
— Debbie Allen (@msdebbieallen) January 29, 2019
— Carnie Wilson (@CarnieWilson) January 29, 2019
Sending you love. Today the world lost a genius. James Ingram was a musician, artist, and humanitarian. He will be remembered for his brilliance and kind heart. https://t.co/t8JtEpygKO
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 29, 2019
So saddened to hear this. First met James when I was in Shalamar, he played on “Friends” album and co-wrote on another. Such a talent vocally and musically, a family man, witty and wise. My condolences to his family and friends —-?– Rest in Heaven James Ingram. https://t.co/Md3Wzdccw3
— Jody Watley (@jodywatley) January 29, 2019
RIP to the Soul Legend James Ingram…Sad Loss To Our Music Family…We Salute You, Your Family And Your Legacy
— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) January 29, 2019
RIP sweet James Ingram. Hearing your voice sing words and notes I made up is a gift I will cherish always. And I will never forget the laughs.
— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) January 29, 2019
The Great James Ingram (I always dubbed him “of the notorious Ingram Brothers”—-for his brother Phillip also a monster musician/singer in his own right was in the band Switch…which… https://t.co/lzyJ1I232T
— Questlove (In E flat) (@questlove) January 29, 2019
Today we loose An incredible icon my dear friend Mr. James Ingram. I am going to miss you my friend. Plz pray for the family. Thank u. God bless pic.twitter.com/dr2rSI8j2Q
— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) January 29, 2019
R.I.P. James Ingram.
Writing with you, touring with you, recording with you, laughing with you…I will miss you, one hundred ways. @JamesIngram #RIPJamesIngram #RIP #oneofakind #genius #pyt pic.twitter.com/zuHORq2t76
— SIEDAH GARRETT (@SIEDAHGARRETT) January 29, 2019
Today we lost one of the finest people and voices of our time, James Ingram. I’ve personally lost a dear friend. May God Bless his family with strength, unity, and understanding during these times. ———— #legend #MemorableVoice #HeavenBound pic.twitter.com/NU0L3NBxua
— Gerald Albright (@GAAlbright) January 29, 2019
2-time Grammy winning soul legend James Ingram passes away today. RIP my friend.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 29, 2019
As a teenager, there were few (if any) singers whose voice I wanted to emulate more than the stunning #JamesIngram I wore out every single one of his CDs. The angel choir got one of Earth’s greatest singers today. I’m truly saddened by this loss. #HowDoYouKeepTheMusicPlaying ?
— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) January 29, 2019
— Kim Fields (@KimVFields) January 29, 2019
The bad news keeps coming today…–
Devastated to hear about the loss of one of my favorite singers and a great friend Mr. James Ingram. I remember asking him if he would sing at our 1995 wedding and he said he would be honored
Sending prayers to his family. #RIPJamesIngram —- pic.twitter.com/qqiqLPxU6r
— Holly Robinson Peete– (@hollyrpeete) January 29, 2019
— Gladys Knight (@MsGladysKnight) January 30, 2019
— ledisi (@ledisi) January 30, 2019
RIP James Ingram!
He wrote PYT for Michael pic.twitter.com/pNBEN798il
— Steven James (@TheLaunchMag) January 30, 2019
— Brian McKnight (@ItsBMcKnight) January 30, 2019
RIP the great James Ingram, a vocalist all vocalists looked up to
— josh groban (@joshgroban) January 29, 2019
James Ingram, Michael McDonald, Rod Temperton, & Quincy Jones…
‘Yah Mo B There’ ~ 1983
RIP, JI.– pic.twitter.com/pL78puErE7
— Rex Chapman—- (@rex_rexchapman) January 29, 2019