East High School Graduate

Akron Grammy Winner, James Ingram, Dies at 66
Posted on 01/30/2019
Image of James Ingram(From Newslive.com)

Grammy-winning singer James Ingram, an Akron native and 1970 graduate of East High School, has died at age 66, according to multiple media outlets.

Ingram started singing as a teenager and performed in a band called Revelation Funk before moving to Los Angeles in 1973. Early in his career, he sang with Ray Charles.

In the early 1980s, he hit it big with the songs "Just Once" and "One Hundred Ways." Other hits included the spiritual-themed "Yah Mo Be There," a duet with Michael McDonald, and the ballads Just Once and Somewhere Out There, recorded with Linda Ronstadt.

Ingram won Grammys for Best Pop Male Vocal and Best R&B Vocal. He charted nine hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including No. 1s "Baby Come to Me," with Patti Austin, in 1983, and "I Don't Have the Heart" in 1990.

In a 2009 interview at the Akron Civic Theatre, he said, ''It's a blessing to come back to Akron every year to see our friends and family because this is home.''

''I am proud to be from Akron, Ohio, because I have been blessed to travel around the world, and we were born with a set of principles in general from the Midwest that the East Coast and the West Coast don't have,'' he said.

Ingram, a graduate of East High School, only performed once in Akron, at an Urban League fundraiser in 2000. But he said in 2009 that he and his wife, Debbie, came back to Akron every year.

In addition to his vocal hits, he played keyboards on Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T." and on Carl Carlton's "She's a Bad Mama Jama." He worked on Shalamar's "A Night to Remember" with fellow Akron native Howard Hewett.

Image of James Ingram
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