LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – James Ingram, one of the biggest stars in R&B music in the 1980s and ’90s, and a double Grammy winner and two-time Oscar nominee, has died at age 66.
Longtime friend Debbie Allen confirmed the news on Twitter.
“I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir,” she wrote. “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.”
His first No. 1 pop hit was 1982′s “Baby, Come to Me,” a
duet with Patti Austin. He again topped the chart in 1990 with “I Don’t Have the Heart.”
He was well known for his soundtrack work, most notably a duet with Linda Ronstadt on “Somewhere Out There,” for the 1986 animated film “An American Tail.” It reached No. 2 on the pop chart and won the Grammy for Song of the Year (with the award going to songwriters James Horner and Cynthia Weil).
Ingram was nominated for 14 Grammy awards from 1982 through 1996, winning for male vocal R&B performance for “One Hundred Ways” and for R&B performance by a duo or group for his collaboration with Michael McDonald, “Yah Mo B There.” Among his other Grammy nods was a nomination for best new artist.
His Oscar nominations for best original song came in 1994-95 for his theme songs from “Beethoven 2” and “Junior.”
He was the co-author, with Quincy Jones, of one of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits, “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).”
Ingram, who was believed to have been ill for some time, had not been prolific in recent years. His last album, “Stand (in the Light),” which had Quincy Jones as a co-producer, was released in 2008.