James Ingram first received attention in the late 70s as part of the band Revelation Funk. However, it was a 1980 demo tape on which he sang that became his unexpected career boost. He cut the demo of “Just Once,” a composition that was being delivered to Quincy Jones for possible inclusion on Jones’s landmark The Dude album. Jones not only liked the song, he liked the singer on the tape and invited Ingram to provide the vocals to both “Just Once” and “One Hundred Ways” on The Dude. Of course, The Dude became an international smash and both Ingram cuts rocketed up the pop, soul and adult contemporary charts, ultimately landing Ingram a Grammy Award for best R&B vocal performance. Ingram’s debut album, It’s Your Night, was released to great anticipation, and it didn’t disappoint. Led off by the smash duet with Michael McDonald, “Yah Mo Be There,” Night was perhaps the best soul album of the 1983 and boasted the most beautiful ballad of that year, “There’s No Easy Way.” He consistently hit the charts in duets with Patti Austin (“Baby Come To Me,” “How Do You Keep The Music Playing”), Linda Ronstadt (“Somewhere Out There”), Dolly Parton (“The Day I Fell In Love”). In 1990, he took the Thom Bell-produced ballad “I Don’t Have the Heart” to number one.
In 1999 Ingram released “Forever More: The Best of James Ingram,” he has continued to provide guest vocals for a number of artists and has been a regular participant in the “Colors of Christmas” concerts with Peabo Bryson, Roberta Flack and others. He’s also co-wrote a children’s musical with dancer Debbie Allen called Brothers of the Night. Ingram has formed Intering Records for future projects.