US RnB singer and songwriter James Ingram has died in Los Angeles at the age of 66.
The Grammy winner and Oscar nominee had two number one hit songs, in 1983 and 1990.
He also co-wrote Michael Jackson’s Pretty Young Things with frequent collaborator Quincy Jones.
Actress and friend Debbie Allen announced his death on her Twitter page, saying she was “blessed to have been so close” to him.
@Msdebbieallen said, “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.”
Born in Ohio in 1952, Ingram later moved to Los Angeles and began his career with the band Revelation Funk. He also played keyboards for Ray Charles before his own musical career took off.
He performed vocals on Quincy Jones’ 1981 album The Dude and won the Best Male RnB Vocal Performance Grammy for the song One Hundred Ways the following year, when he was also nominated for Best New Artist.
Jones and he would later co-write Pretty Young Things, the sixth single from Michael Jackson’s album Thriller.
@QuincyDJones said,” There are no words to convey how much my heart 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 heart forever.
Ingram won his second Grammy for the song Yah Mo B There which he sang with Michael McDonald.
His first number one hit was the duet Baby, Come To Me with singer Patti Austin, and he would again top the charts with I Don’t Have The Heart.
The singer-songwriter also worked on film soundtracks.
He was nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar Academy Award in 1994 and 1995 for songs from Beethoven’s 2nd and Junior, respectively.
More tributes from fans and friends have been posted on social media.
@jodywatley said, “So saddened to hear this. First met James when I was in Shalamar, he played on “Friends” album and co-wrote on another. Such a talent vocally and musically, a family man, witty and wise. My condolences to his family and friends.”