Soap fans may not recall his name, but they certainly know his soulful voice. Singer James Ingram, whose love songs launched a thousand soap romances back in the 80s, has passed away at the age of 66.
Reports say Ingram died of brain cancer. His friend and collaborator, Debbie Allen (Fame, Grey’s Anatomy), shared the news on social media.
“I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir,” Allen 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.”
One of Ingram’s most famous hits was Baby Come To Me, which he sang with Patti Austin.
Originally released as a single in April 1982, the tune reached #73 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Later that year, the song started playing in scenes with Anthony Geary’s Luke and then-newcomer Emma Samms’ Holly on General Hospital.
Fans connected to the couple and their song — due to the airtime it received on GH, Baby Come To Me went to #1 on the charts in February on 1983.
After Luke was presumed dead, a pregnant Holly reluctantly accepted a marriage proposal from Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) to keep her and her unborn baby in the country.
Sadly, Holly miscarried, but she and Robert fell in love, earning the couple their own love theme, How Do You Keep The Music Playing, also performed by Ingram and Austin.
Ingram’s soap music contributions didn’t end there. His album, It’s Your Night, featured songs played on both Days of Our Live and Santa Barbara.
Bo and Hope’s didn’t only celebrate their love with the Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack hit. Whatever We Imagine was Bo and Hope’s second theme song, played for the pair in 1984 for the first time.
In 1985, Ingram’s There’s No Easy Way became another Bo and Hope love song, along with Just Once, which made its way to Santa Barbara and Cruz and Eden’s love story that same year.
During his career, Ingram won two Grammys and was nominated for two Academy Awards.
In 2015, Ingram’s duet How Do You Keep the Music Playing aired in an episode of Scandal. In 2016, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), a song he wrote, was performed on The Voice.
Ingram didn’t have many acting gigs in his career, but he can be seen in the 2018 film End of the Road in the part of Fitness Student.
You can see Ingram’s work on soaps featured in the two videos below.