News of Ingram’s death was shared by famed entertainer Debbie Allen. “I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir,” she tweeted.
“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 added.
According to Billboard, Ingram began playing music as a young boy. In the 1970s, he performed in a band called Revolution Funk before pursuing a solo career in Los Angeles. He later worked with iconic singers including Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye.
In 1980, he was discovered by superproducer Quincy Jones and worked on his album The Dude.
Ingram co-wrote Michael Jackson’s chart-topping hit “P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing),” which appeared on the Thriller album. He also wrote songs for Shalamar, George Benson
His final album, Stand (In the Light), was released independently in 2008.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.