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James Ingram Biography

Home > Music > I > Ingram, James > Biography

Born: 1956/02/16
Birth Place: Akron, Ohio, USA
Years Active: 1975—present
Genres: Soul, Adult Contemporary, Quiet Storm

James Ingram was born February 16, 1952 in Akron, Ohio and is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. A two-time Grammy Award-winner, and a two-time Academy Award nominee, Ingram has maintained an established presence in the music industry since the early 1970s. Ingram got his start in the music industry when he moved to Los Angeles and began playing with the funk band Revelation Funk. From there Ingram was offered a gig playing keyboards for Ray Charles before providing vocals on Quincy Jones album, “The Dude” in 1981. His collaboration on the album's tracks, “Just Once” and “One Hundred Ways” earned Ingram three Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist and a win for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Ingram's first #1 hit single was a duet with the R&B singer Patti Austin in 1982, “Baby, Come to Me.”

Ingram's debut album, “It's Your Night,” arrived in 1983 and spurred the ballad, “There's No Easy Way.” Around this time, Ingram was building a reputation among his peers as a record producer and became an “in-demand” artist to work with. As such, Ingram worked with Donna Summer, Ray Charles, Anita Baker, Viktor Lazlo, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Cole and Kenny Rogers. 1984 marked more Grammy nominations for Ingram for “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” another duet with Patti Austin, “P.Y.T.” that he co-wrote with Quincy Jones for Michael Jackson and his own “Party Animal.”

His second album, “Never Felt So Good,” was released in 1986. Ingram collaborated with Linda Ronstadt on the single, “Somewhere Out There,” for the animated feature film “An American Tail,” which earned the duo a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1987.

In 1989, his third album, “It's Real,” was released. It featured Ingram's first solo #1 single, “I Don't Have the Heart.” It also featured a remake of the classic song “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” re-written with different lyrics and entitled “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man.”

Following a four-year hiatus, Ingram came back in 1993 with “Always You,” his fourth album on Qwest Records, the label run by producer Quincy Jones.

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?” His 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.

Fifteen years after his last record, “Always You,” Ingram found himself on thr independent label, Intering Records, for his fifth full-length, “Stand (In The Light).” The album was produced by Ingram, Jones, Jeremy Lubbock, Ricky Minor and Keith Thomas.