Grammy-winning soul legend James Ingram dead at age 66

Legendary soul crooner James Ingram, who during his career earned eight top 40 hits, two Grammy wins, 14 Grammy nominations (including Best New Artist), and multiple Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, has died at age 66. According to TMZ, he had been battling brain cancer, although no official cause of death has yet been confirmed.

Ingram’s smooth, silky baritone dominated the R&B, adult contemporary and pop charts throughout the 1980s with a series of high-profile movie themes and duets. His 1982 single with Patti Austin, “Baby, Come to Me,” popularized by General Hospital, went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another collaboration with Austin for the film Best Friends, “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?,” was nominated for Best Original Song at the 1983 Academy Awards.

A top 20 hit with Michael McDonald, “Yah Mo B There,” won the 1985 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals. “Somewhere Out There,” a duet with Linda Ronstadt from An American Tail, earned him nominations for Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards and Oscars and won the Grammy for Song of the Year in 1988.

Ingram’s successful soundtrack career continued in the ’90s with “The Day I Fall in Love,” a duet with Dolly Parton for Beethoven’s 2nd, and “Look What Love Has Done,” a Patty Smyth duet for the film Junior, both of which received Best Original Song Oscar nominations. During his lifetime, Ingram additionally recorded soundtrack songs for such films as Sarafina!, Cats Don’t Dance and City Slickers, and also worked with Ray Charles, Anita Baker, Donna Summer, Natalie Cole, Kenny Rogers and Nancy Wilson. He scored his only solo No. 1 hit, “I Don’t Have the Heart,” in 1990.

12 PHOTOS
Soul musician James Ingram through the years
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Soul musician James Ingram through the years
(L-R) Musicians Michael McDonald and James Ingram. (Photo by John Paschal/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
1985 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS - Backstage Coverage - Airdate: January 28, 1985. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) CYNDI LAUPER, FAVORITE POP/ROCK FEMALE ARTIST AND FAVORITE POP/ROCK FEMALE VIDEO ARTIST WITH PRESENTERS QUINCY JONES (L) AND JAMES INGRAM
Heather Locklear and James Ingram during The 3rd Annual Soul Train Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Pictured: (l-r) Musical guest James Ingram during an interview with host Johnny Carson on November 9, 1990 -- (Photo by: Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
James Ingram, left and Dolly Parton perform at the 66th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles March 21, 1994. (AP Photo)
James Ingram during KTWV 94.7 A Wave of Peace Benefit Concert at The Great Western Fourm in Inglewood, California, United States. (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)
Patty Austin and James Ingram receive a standing ovation after their performance during the GRAMMY Foundation's "Starry Night Benefit Honoring Quincy Jones" held at UCLA Tennis Center July 28, 2007 in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Stefano Paltera)
James Ingram performs at the ASCAP musical tribute which honored Quincy Jones with the ASCAP Pied Piper Award, Tuesday, April 22, 2008, in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
Singer James Ingram arrives at the UNICEF Playlist with the A-List benefit in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Funds raised at the event will be used for the UNICEF Schools for Africa campaign. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Norm Nixon and James Ingram seen at Debbie Allen's All Star Gala "One Night Only", on Thursday, December, 12, 2013 at Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles. California. (Photo by Arnold Turner/Invision/PantherPR/AP Images)
***FILE PHOTO*** James Ingram has passed Away At Age 66 Of Brain Cancer James Ingram and Phoebe Snow attending the Urban Contemporary Awards on January 21, 1983 at the Savoy in New York City. Credit: Walter McBride/MediaPunch /IPX
LAGUNA BEACH, CA - AUGUST 24: James Ingram performs at the Acura/KOST celebrity benefit concert and pageant on August 24, 2013 in Laguna Beach, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/WireImage)
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Ingram launched his career in 1973, performing with the band Revelation Funk, playing keyboards for the Coasters on Dick Clark’s oldies revues, and serving as the musical director for Leon Haywood. Super-producer Quincy Jones recruited Ingram for his solo album The Dude after hearing a demo of Ingram singing “Just Once,” and Ingram became Jones’s longtime collaborator — co-writing Michael Jackson’s Thriller hit “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” and “The Secret Garden” (performed with Al B. Sure, El DeBarge and Barry White) with Jones, and participating in the Jones-helmed 1985 all-star benefit single “We Are the World.”

“There are no words to convey how much my heart aches with the news of the passing of my baby brother James Ingram … every beautiful note that James sang pierced your essence and comfort ably made itself at home,” Jones said in a statement. “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.”

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