James Ingram, whose soulful voice made him an R&B sensation in the ’80s and ’90s, has died at the age of 66.
His death was announced on Twitter by his close friend, the actress Debbie Allen. “I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir,” she wrote. “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.”
The details of his death have yet to be disclosed.
Over Ingram’s decades-long career, he collected a pair of Grammys, two Oscar nominations and numerous Billboard Hot 100 hits—including “Baby, Come to Me” with Patti Austin and “I Don’t Have the Heart,” which reached number one in 1983 and 1990, respectively.
The singer also made a name for himself as a prolific songwriter, penning Michael Jackson’s “PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” with Quincy Jones and Patty Smyth’s “Look What Love Has Done,” among other songs.
Jones, who gave Ingram his big break by featuring his vocals on Jones’ 1981 record The Dude, paid tribute to his longtime collaborator and friend in a statement. “There are no words to convey how much my heart aches with the news of the passing of my baby brother James Ingram,” Jones said. “[He] was, and always will be, beyond compare. Rest in peace, baby brother. You will be in my heart forever.”
RIP, James Ingram. Stream the most memorable moments of his career below: