James Ingram: Grammy Award Winning R&B Star Dies at 66 From Brain Cancer

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James Ingram, the soulful, smooth voice behind R&B hits like “Just Once” and “I Don’t Have The Heart,” has died at the age of 66.

The Grammy winner and Oscar nominee had two number one hit songs, in 1983 and 1990.

The music icon according to TMZ, James had been fighting cancer for an extended period.

Ingram’s longtime friend and creative partner, Debbie Allen, confirmed the news of his passing Tuesday  when she tweeted, “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.”

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A native of the US state of Ohio, Ingram launched his music career with the band Revelation Funk and later played keyboard for soul pioneer Ray Charles.

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.

James was one of the featured soloists for the all-star choir that gathered to record the smash charity song, “We Are the World” in 1985 — singing parts between Kenny RogersTina Turner, and Ray Charles.

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He also collaborated with high-profile artists including Donna Summer, Viktor Lazlo and Natalie Cole.

“Ingram’s rich voice and masterful songwriting has made a lasting impact on the music industry,” the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammys, said in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.”

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