Grammy-winning soul legend James Ingram has passed away at the age of 66. The news was shared by his friend and creative partner Debbie Allen on Twitter Wednesday. She, however, did not reveal the day and cause of death. "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," Allen tweeted.
According to TMZ, the veteran singer had been suffering from brain cancer.
Ohio-born Ingram moved to Los Angeles later in life and began his career with the band Revelation Funk. He also played keyboards for Ray Charles before his career took off.
He went on to collect two Grammy Awards: his song "One Hundred Ways" was named best male R&B performance in 1981, and three years later his duet with Michael McDonald on "Yah Mo B There" earned the award for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals.
His first number one hit was the duet "Baby, Come To Me" with singer Patti Austin.
Ingram was nominated for consecutive best original song Oscars in 1993 and 1994, for co-writing "The Day I Fall in Love" from Beethoven's 2nd and "Look What Love Has Done" from Junior.
He also dabbled as a songwriter and co-wrote "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" with Quincy Jones for Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album. He also wrote for Pointer Sisters, George Benson, Ray Charles, Shalamar and others.
Personalities from the music world shared their tributes on social media.
Jones shared a video of Ingram and mourned the demise of his "baby brother".
"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, and always will be, beyond compare. Rest In Peace my baby bro... You'll be in my (heart) forever," he tweeted.
Singer Jody Watley wrote, "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. Rest in Heaven James Ingram."
"RIP the great James Ingram, a vocalist all vocalists looked up to," Josh Groban tweeted.