BMI is saddened by the loss of longtime affiliate, singer/songwriter/producer James Ingram, who passed away Tuesday at age 66. A prolific and successful music creator, Ingram was a regular visitor at the top of the Pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary Billboard charts throughout the 80s and 90s, earning several industry accolades along the way, including two GRAMMY awards and twelve nominations, and two separate Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song for “The Day I Fall in Love” in 1994 and “Look What Love Has Done” in 1995.
Boasting a voice that came to typify the sound of 80s R&B, Ingram’s silky tones imbued both the work of his own chart-topping compositions like his collaboration with Michael McDonald, the BMI Award-winning “Yah Mo Be There,” as well as hits like “I Don’t Have the Heart” by Allan Rich and Judd Friedman, and two notably huge singles from Quincy Jones’ 1981 album, The Dude, “One Hundred Ways,” written by Kathy Wakefield, Benjamin Wright and Tony Coleman, and ”Just Once,” written by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weill. These latter two singles earned Ingram a GRAMMY award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and a GRAMMY nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, respectively, in 1982.
A frequent collaborator, Ingram worked with a distinguished roster of artists, vocalists and songwriters, including Donna Summer, Ray Charles, Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Carnie Wilson, Angie Stone, Cliff Richard, Patty Smyth, Nancy Wilson, Barry White, John Tesh and so many more. He penned Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” with Quincy Jones and contributed his signature vocals to 1985’s “We Are the World” by USA for Africa.
Ingram will be greatly missed by his friends, fans and admirers at BMI.