Media outlets are reporting that legendary singer and songwriter James Ingram died at 66-years-old Tuesday.
Debbie Allen shared the news on social media.
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
Ingram won two Grammy Awards and collaborated with other big names such as Quincy Jones, Michael McDonald, Ray Charles and Anita Baker. Ingram also made Grammy history when, in his first live performance ever as a singer when he performed “Just Once” as the show’s opening act. He became the first artist to open a Grammy ceremony with a ballad and the only artist to win a Grammy without having his own album in release.
From funk and soul to R&B, pop, adult contemporary and inspirational, Ingram’s talents dazzled fans around the world.
The Akron, Ohio native got his start playing local bars with Revelation Funk and then he headed to Los Angeles.
Ingram’s talents as a songwriter allowed him to collaborate with legendary talents like Michael Jackson on “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” for the Thriller album in 1982.
Other popular songs include “Good Life” performed by Kanye West (featuring T-Pain) in 2007. He performed “Baby Come To Me,” with Patti Austin in 1984 on her debut album, which went on to become a No. 1 Pop record. There was also “The Secret Garden,” the No.1 hit with Barry White, Al B. Sure and El Debarge on Quincy Jones’ multi-platinum Back on the Block album in 1990.
TMZ reports that the singer died from a battle with a form of brain cancer.