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The Real Legend James Ingram


James Edward Ingram, popularly known as James
Ingram, was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist. He played the keyboard. He was a two-time Grammy Award-winner, and
a two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song. James Ingram began his career in 1973, and
he had charted eight Top 40 hits, on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, from the early 1980s
until the early 1990s, as well as thirteen top 40 hits on the Hot R and B, Hip-Hop Songs
chart. In addition, he charted 20 hits on the Adult
Contemporary chart, including two number ones. He had two number one singles on the Hot 100,
the first, a duet with fellow R and B artist, Patti Austin, 1982’s “Baby, Come to Me” topped
the U.S. pop chart in 1983; “I Don’t Have the Heart”, which became his second number
one in 1990, was his only number one as a solo artist. In between these hits, he also recorded the
song “Somewhere Out There”, with fellow recording artist, Linda Ronstadt, for the animated film,
An American Tail. The song and the music video both became gigantic
hits. Ingram co-wrote “The Day I Fall in Love”,
from the motion picture Beethoven’s 2nd (1993), and singer Patty Smyth’s “Look What Love Has
Done”, from the motion picture, Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy Junior (1994), which earned him nominations
for Best Original Song from the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammy Awards in 1994 and 1995. James Ingram was born in Akron, Ohio, on 16
February 1952, where he lived with his parents until he moved in with his grandmother, when
he was 10. As one of six children, he had a Christian
upbringing, and his father was a church deacon at the Church of God in Christ, where they
fellowshipped as a family. His father passed on in 2002. He attended Akron’s East High School, and
the University of Akron. Subsequently he moved to Los Angeles, and
played with the band, Revelation Funk, which made an appearance in the Rudy Ray Moore film,
Dolemite. Later, he also played keyboards for Ray Charles,
before becoming famous. Meanwhile, his younger brother, Phillip Ingram,
became prominent as a member of the Motown group, Switch. Ingram provided the vocals to “Just Once”
and “One Hundred Ways”, on Quincy Jones’s 1981 album, The Dude, which earned Ingram
triple Grammy nominations, and won Best New Artist. “One Hundred Ways” won him the Grammy Award
for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his work. On December 11, 1981, Ingram appeared as a
guest on the Canadian comedy series SCTV (which aired on NBC), singing “Just Once”. Ingram’s debut album, It’s Your Night, was
released in 1983, and included the ballad, “There’s No Easy Way”. He worked with other notable artists, such
as Donna Summer, Ray Charles, Anita Baker, Viktor Lazlo, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Cole,
and Kenny Rogers. In October 1990, he scored a No. 1 hit on
the Billboard Hot 100 with the love ballad, “I Don’t Have the Heart”, from his It’s Real
album. In 1984, James Ingram received three Grammy
nominations: “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” (his second duet with recording artist Patti
Austin), for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals; the US Top 10 single,
“PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” for Michael Jackson, which Ingram and Quincy Jones co-wrote, for
Best R and B Song; and the track “Party Animal” for Best Male R and B Vocal Performance. In early 1985, he was again triple nominated,
for his debut album (It’s Your Night), for Best Male R and B Vocal Performance, and its
single, “Yah Mo B There”, (a duet with fellow R and B musician, Michael McDonald), for Best
R and B Song, and Best R and B Performance by a Duo or Group, and won the latter. James Ingram is perhaps best known for his
hit collaborations with other vocalists. He scored a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 chart
in February 1983, with Patti Austin, on the duet “Baby, Come to Me”, a song made popular
on TV’s General Hospital. A second Austin–Ingram duet, “How Do You
Keep the Music Playing?” was featured in the movie, Best Friends (1982) and earned
an Oscar nomination. In 1984, he teamed up with Kenny Rogers and
Kim Carnes, for the Top 40 ballad, “What About Me?” In 1985, Ingram won a Grammy Award for “Yah
Mo B There”, a duet with Michael McDonald, and participated in the charity single, “We
Are the World”. Ingram teamed with American vocalist, Linda
Ronstadt, and had a top ten hit in the U.S. and the U.K. in 1987 with “Somewhere Out There”,
the theme from the animated feature film An American Tail. The song was awarded the 1987 Grammy Award
for Song of the Year. It also received Academy Award and Golden
Globe nominations. It was one of the last million-selling Gold-certified
45 RPM singles to be issued by the RIAA. In the 1990s, Ingram’s highest-profile team-up
came again with Quincy Jones, on the song, “The Secret Garden”. This song also featured vocals by Barry White,
El Debarge, and Al B Sure! Soundtrack songs were popular for Ingram in
the 1990s. From the movie, Sarafina! came “One More Time”,
and from City Slickers came, “Where Did My Heart Go?”. In 1991, he and Melissa Manchester performed
the song, “The Brightest Star”, in the animated Christmas film, Precious Moments Timmy’s Gift. In 1993, they performed the song again in
the film’s sequel, Precious Moments Timmy’s Special Delivery. Ingram’s 1994 composition, “The Day I Fall
in Love”, a duet with Dolly Parton, was the theme song for the movie, Beethoven’s 2nd,
and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Ingram and Parton performed the song live
on the Oscar broadcast. In 1997, he and Carnie Wilson, co-wrote the
song, “Our Time Has Come”, and lent it to the animated film, Cats Don’t Dance. During the summer of 2004, Ingram participated
in the U.S. television reality show, Celebrity Duets, as a duet partner. The show combined professional vocalists,
of various musical genres, with entertainers of different backgrounds in a weekly elimination
competition. In 2006, Ingram and neo-soul singer, Angie
Stone, teamed up on “My People”. In 2011, Ingram joined Cliff Richard’s list
of special guest performers on his Soulicious Tour, performing at various UK venues during
November. He sang two songs from the album with Richard,
as well as a solo of “Just Once”. In 2012, Ingram appeared as himself in the
ABC television show, Suburgatory, in the episode, “The Motherload”. Also in 2012, he was a guest vocalist at Debbie
Allen’s October 13 live show, at the corner of Crenshaw Blvd. and Martin Luther King Boulevard,
celebrating the arrival of the Space Shuttle, Endeavour, singing R. Kelly’s “I Believe I
Can Fly”. James Ingram was married to his childhood
sweetheart, Debra Robinson, and they were married on 16 February 1975. Ingram managed to keep his family out of the
limelight, but an article published by CBN in 2009, reported that Ingram and his wife
had six children, ranging from 15 years to 32 years at the time. James Ingram died on January 29, 2019, aged
66, from brain cancer, at his home in Los Angeles. Choreographer and actress, Debbie Allen, announced
his death on her official Twitter page. Now, that was the real legend, James Ingram. May his soul rest in peace. Thanks for watching. Please comment, like, share and subscribe.

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