Filipino fans mourn passing of ‘Just Once’ singer James Ingram

January 30, 2019 - 5:10 PM
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James Ingram
U.S. singer James Ingram performs during the three-day Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta March 7, 2008. (Reuters/Supri/File Photo)

Filipinos mourned the passing of American Grammy-winning R&B singer James Ingram at the age of 66 on January 30, Wednesday.

Actress Debbie Allen confirmed the news on Twitter where she noted that she has lost her “dearest friend and creative partner.”

Reports said that Ingram died after battling brain cancer “for an extended period of time.”

The singer’s death was met with sorrow by fans on social media who honored Ingram in their respective posts.

Acclaimed singer Lea Salonga recalled the moment when she once performed with Ingram as a special guest in February 2012 for his two-day Manila concert in Smart Araneta Coliseum and Waterfront Hotel Cebu.

In a 2012 interview, Salonga recalled when she was a teenager and her suitors would woo her with mixtapes that include Ingram’s love songs.

“He was one of the voices of my youth, one of the voices I listen to growing up… talagang napapa-in love ka sa mga kanta niya,” she said.

Ingram was famous for singing the songs “Just Once,” “Somewhere Out There,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing,” “Baby Come to Me,” “One Hundred Ways,” “I Don’t Have the Heart” and “Whatever We Imagine.”

Most of them dominated the radio waves in the ’80s and ’90s, although some are still being played in local FM radio stations and being sung in karaoke sessions with friends and family.

Ingram has received two Grammy Awards in his lifetime—one in 1981 and another in 1985.

He won the best male R&B performance for “One Hundred Ways” and the best R&B performance by a duo or a group for “Yah Mo B There” with Michael McDonald.

The singer was an Ohio native who rose to fame when he provided vocals for “Just Once” and “One Hundred Ways” on Quincy Jones’ album “The Dude” that led him to be nominated for Grammys three times.

He was also known for collaborating with different artists such as Quincy Jones, Patti Austin, Linda Ronstadt, Barry White and Dolly Parton.

Ingram with Filipinos 

As an artist, Ingram went to the Philippines four times to perform his songs—in 1991, 1994, 2012 and 2015.

He considered his 2012 concert an answered birthday wish and added that coming back to Manila was a dream come true for him.

“I’m serious. In the Philippines, you treat me a whole different way as though I’ve got a family (here),” he said in an interview before.

Ingram revealed that despite the various places he has been to, the Philippines would always be different.

“Every time I come here, I’m so… you know, y’all have welcomed me, and made me feel like a Filipino. That’s how I’m treated and I love it,” the singer said in a another interview.

“Because, I don’t get that kind of thing… You know, people like my music around the world and stuff, but, I’ve never been confident like this, in terms of coming to the Philippines. Y’all make me feel like I’m one of you,” Ingram continued.

In his last visit to the Philippines, the singer was joined by Lani Misalucha who opened his act together with retro band Route 70.