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James Ingram (1952 – 2019), R&B singing legend

Getty Images / WireImage / Dr. Billy Ingram

Smooth voice on the hits “Baby, Come to Me” and “Just Once”

James Ingram (1952 – 2019) was a chart topping singer known for the hit R&B song “Baby, Come to Me,” a duet with singer Patti Austin which reached number one in 1983. He first came to fame in 1981 when he sang vocals on the songs “Just Once” and “One Hundred Ways” on the Quincy Jones album “The Dude.”

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Died: Tuesday January 29, 2019. (Who else died on January 29?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 66 from brain cancer, according to his close friend, actress Debbie Allen.


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Grammy winner: Ingram won a Grammy for Song of the Year in 1986 for his duet with Linda Ronstadt on the song “Somewhere Out There,” which was featured on the soundtrack for the animated film “An American Tail.” He previously won a Grammy for “One Hundred Ways” on Quincy Jones’s album, “The Dude.”

Ingram on hanging up the phone on Quincy Jones: “I hung up on Quincy.” “I was never no singer. I never shopped a deal, none of that. My wife said, ‘James, that was Quincy.’ He called back, and we started talking. I said, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’ He put that (“Just Once”) on his album.” – Ingram told the Chicago Tribune in 2012


See James Ingram and other R&B stars in our video gallery.


Tributes: “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.” – Debbie Allen on Twitter

"There are no words to convey how much my aches with the news of the passing of my baby brother, James Ingram. With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James was simply magical. He was, & always will be, beyond compare. Rest In Peace my baby bro…You’ll be in my forever" - Quincy Jones on Twitter

“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.” - Television producer Shonda Rhimes on Twitter

“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.” – Singer Clay Aiken on Twitter

Full obituary: New York Daily News

Related lives:

Soul and R&B Music Stars Video Gallery

Modern R&B Singers Photo Gallery

R&B Singers Memorial Site

Inspired by Teddy Pendergrass