Top 10 James Ingram Songs

James Ingram Songs

Photo: Bart Sherkow / Shutterstock

Our Top 10 James Ingram Songs list takes a look at the late great James Ingram. He was an r&b and adult contemporary singer and songwriter. He was known for making grown and sexy music. He has several Top 40 pop, r&b and adult contemporary hits. He has two number one hit singles (Baby, Come to Me and I Don’t Have the Heart). He won two Grammy Awards and was nominated for two Academy Awards. Some of his hits include “Baby, Come to Me,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing,” “Just Once,” “Yah Mo B There,” “Somewhere Out There,” “The Secret Garden,” “One Hundred Ways,” “I Just Can’t Let Go” as well as other songs. James Ingram’s musical influences were Teddy Pendergrass and Michael McDonald.

James Ingram was born on February 16, 1952, and died on January 29, 2019. He got his start in the music business by joining a band called Revelation Funk. He would go on to play the piano and write music for Ray Charles’ label. Legendary record producer Quincy Jones managed to hear James Ingram’s demo “Just Once.” He managed to get his hands on the track and was able to get him to sing the song for his album The Dude. James Ingram won a Grammy for his work on this album. James Ingram became Quincy Jones’ go to writer, singer and collaborator. Quincy Jones got James Ingram to work on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. James Ingram wrote “P.Y.T.” on the album. He received royalty checks for years because of that song.

It’s Your Night was released in 1983. It peaked at number 10 on the r&b charts and 46 on Billboard 200. The album received numerous Grammy nominations. He won a Grammy for “Yah Mo B There.” It features the singles “Party Animal,” “Yah Mo B There,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” and “Whatever We Imagine.” The album sold over 500,000 copies. In 1985, he lent his vocals for the charity single “We Are the World.”

It’s Never Felt So Good was released in 1986. It peaked at number 37 on the r&b charts and number 123 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Always,” “Never Felt So Good,” “Red Hot Lover” and “Trust Me.” It’s Real was released in 1989. It peaked at number 44 on the r&b charts and number 117 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “It’s Real,” “Call on Me,” “I Don’t Have the Heart” and “Someday We’ll All Be Free.”

Always You was released in 1993. It peaked at number 74 on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Someone Like You,” “Always You,” “Treat Her Right” and “This is the Night.” Stand (In the Light) was released 2008. It peaked at number 63 on the r&b charts and number 18 on the gospel charts. It features the singles “Don’t Let Go,” “Everything Must Change,” “Everlast,” “No Place Like Home” and “For All We Know.”

James Ingram was a very talented singer and songwriter. He had one of the smoothest voices on radio. He knew how to turn a song into magic with just his voice alone. He left the world too soon, but his legacy will live on through his amazing music. This Top 10 James Ingram Songs list will feature his best songs.

# 10 – I Just Can’t Let Go ft. James Ingram and Michael McDonald

The first song on our Top 10 James Ingram Songs list is “I Just Can’t Let Go” from David Pack of Ambrosia’s album Anywhere You Go. The song has a soft rock beat. The yearning song is about a person who lies to him even though he gave his heart and soul to her. He still thinks about the love they lost. He wants to know if she feels the same way. He is open to reconciliation because he “can’t let go” of her.

If you have ever been in a turbulent relationship and can’t let go of the person, this song is for you. It will let you know that it is okay for you to think about someone who broke your heart. Here is some trivia about the song. This song was supposed to go on Ambrosia’s album. David Pack ended up recording the song with James Ingram and Michael McDonald. The music is soft and soulful. The music is surprisingly romantic considering the song is about a relationship that ended.

The music caters to all three singers. David Pack sings soft rock and adult contemporary music while James Ingram and Michael McDonald sing r&b and adult contemporary music. They aren’t really from the same musical genre, but they all manage to make it work. Their harmonies are on point with each other. Their voices blend well together. David Pack has a tenor voice while James Ingram and Michael McDonald have baritone voices. They are a vocal match made in heaven. It’s too bad they didn’t get a chance to record more songs together.

# 9 – Always

The next song on our Top 10 James Ingram Songs list is “Always” from the Never Felt So Good album. The song has an r&b beat. The longing song is about him wanting to be back with the woman he lost. He thought they were meant to be, but it turned out they weren’t. He is waiting for the day when he can be back with the woman he loves. This is in his wheelhouse because he sings a lot of songs about heartbreak and regret. He must have dealt with a lot of painful relationships because a lot of his songs talk about wanting his lover back in his life. If he didn’t have relationship problems, he told convincing stories about heartbreak.

The music has a midtempo beat. It is suitable for slow dancing. It has a classic 80s r&b jam that can still resonate today. The synthesizer is simple but amazing. The banging drumbeat gives the song some tempo. The melody is strong and contagious. When James Ingram hits the high note in the first line of the song, you know it’s going to be good. His vocals are very pleasant to the ear. He can do a lot with his voice. He holds notes throughout the song. It’s hard to believe that someone with a baritone voice can hit high notes the way he does in this song. This isn’t one of his signature songs, but it is just as good as his big hits. This song is definitely worth checking out. It will make you appreciate his voice.

# 8 – What About Me? ft James Ingram and Kim Carnes

The love song is from Kenny Rogers album of the same name. The song has a soft rock beat. The touching song is about a couple in love. The song is about a love triangle. It is something that you would see in a soap opera. It is about two men in love with the same woman. Here is some trivia about the song. Lionel Richie and Barbra Streisand were originally supposed to sing the song with Kenny Rogers. Lionel Richie and Barbra Streisand pulled out of the song. When they pulled out, Jeffrey Osborne and Olivia Newton-John were offered the song. She was working with the Bee Gees and didn’t want to do both songs.

Jeffrey Osborne had a scheduling conflict and pulled out of the song. James Ingram and Kim Carnes ended up being chosen for the song. The song dealt with controversy because radio stations didn’t want to play it at first because of the interracial relationship. Anyone in love triangles can relate to the lyrics of this beautiful song. The melody of the music is a combination of Lionel Richie’s “Truly” and Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb’s “What Kind of Fool.” The lyrics will touch your soul. The music is gorgeous and fits with the theme. It caters to all three voices very well. All of their voices sound amazing. Kenny Rogers deep and velvet vocals are soulful.

Kim Carnes sings part of the song in her upper register and the other in her normal alto voice. James Ingram’s vocals are silky smooth. He sounds similar to Jeffrey Osborne in this track. They all have moments where they vocally shine. They all hit notes and belt throughout the song. This song is absolutely fabulous. David Foster writes power ballads and the trio turn this into a power ballad. This song is so good that you will want to hear it over and over again.

# 7 – Yah Mo B There ft Michael McDonald

The spiritual song is from the It’s Your Night album. The song has an r&b and funk beat. The reflective song is about getting people to call on God when they need help. The lyrics let you know that it’s not too late to call on God for help. This song is timely with everything that is going on in the world.

The title of the song combines Hebrew and ebonics. “Yah” is short for “Yahweh” while the rest of the song is ebonics for will be there. It is easy not to take the song seriously based on the title, but it is a truly moving song. We should all go to God when we need help. This is a gospel song that was made radio friendly because of the beat. The music is funky and upbeat. The synthesizer is smoking hot and makes the music pop.

The drumbeat will get you out of your seat. It has a classic 80s beat, but it can still be appreciated. The chorus of the song is very catchy and easy to remember. The chorus simply repeats the title of the song. James Ingram and Michael McDonald sound similar to each other in this track. James Ingram’s voice is slightly higher than Michael McDonald’s. James Ingram does his signature falsetto wail throughout the song. You know you’re listening to a James Ingram song when you hear that falsetto wail.

Michael McDonald’s deep voice will melt your heart. James Ingram and Michael McDonald pour their hearts out in the bridge. They both belt and hold notes that are worth checking out. Their harmonies are fire. This is the type of song that will never get old.

# 6 – One Hundred Ways ft James Ingram

The enchanting song is from Quincy Jones The Dude album. The song has an r&b and jazz beat. The tender song is about coming up with different ways to please the person you love. This will be important if you find that your relationship is taking a turn for the worst. You want to do everything you can to make sure that your relationship doesn’t end. This song will give you the advice you need to keep your relationship intact.

If you want to know how to make your relationship last, play this song. You will convince your lover to stay with you. If you listen to the lyrics, it will tell you exactly what to do to keep your lover happy. It is targeted towards men, but women can appreciate the message in the song. There are other songs that give relationship advice, but this song actually tells you the things you should do to make your lover happy. The music is the perfect blend of r&b and jazz. It will please fans of both genres.

The instrumentation is simple, which will allow you to focus on James Ingram’s voice. There is a saxophone solo that is not to be missed. James Ingram sings softly to the music. He has perfect diction so you can understand every word he is saying. He sings this jam through his heart. He is very passionate while he is singing. The song is like a fine wine because it gets better with time.

# 5 – Somewhere Out There ft Linda Ronstadt

The next song on our Top 10 James Ingram Songs list is “Somewhere Out There” from the American Tail soundtrack. The song has a pop beat. The fantasy song is about being in a place where your dreams come true. The song is also about people who are in love, but are far away from each other. They want to get together and achieve their dreams. The lyrics were written for the movie, but it doesn’t have to be just for the movie.

Anyone who is far away from the person you love can relate to the touching lyrics. As long as you are both alive, you can never be too far from each other. This is the message that the song is trying to convey. Here is some trivia about the song. James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt didn’t record the song together. You would never know they didn’t record the song together. The music is perfect for an animated movie. It has orchestral swells. The bridge features a guitar solo, which gives the song a rock edge. James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt performed a touching and emotional duet.

She opens the song with her soprano vocals. He comes in at the second verse with his baritone vocals. They come together for the chorus and sound absolutely amazing together. They have incredible harmony with each other. They both get their chance to vocally shine in the track. They hold powerful notes and belts towards the end of the track. They even hold a note in the fade-out of the song. This song is outstanding. It’s no wonder it won a Grammy Award.

# 4 – Just Once

The hopeful song is from Quincy Jones The Dude album. The song has an r&b and pop beat. The optimistic song is about a man hoping to reconcile with the woman he loves. He talks about the things they keep doing wrong. He wants to find a way to make things right so they can get back together. You would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the lyrics. The lyrics will resonate more with you when you realize you can’t fix the relationship. The lyrics will make any woman want to come back to you. Once you hear the first piano chords, you will be hooked to the song.

If you are familiar with James Ingram’s songs, you will recognize the song right away. The music has orchestral swells. The melody of the song sounds romantic, which may mislead you into thinking the song is a love song. It is soft and melodic. It has classic r&b vibes that will please fans of r&b music. The music caters very well to James Ingram’s voice. He starts the song softly and then gives a climactic ending. He is in perfect pitch throughout the track.

He teases the audience by saving the best for last. He belts the chorus after the bridge. He does miss an opportunity to hold really big notes after the bridge, but it doesn’t hurt the song. This is one of his signature songs and it’s easy to see why because it is phenomenal. This song is an earworm and will stay in your head long after it is done.

# 3 – I Don’t Have the Heart

The sentimental song is from the It’s Real album. The song has a pop beat. The emotional song is about a man who cares about a woman, but not the way he used to. He doesn’t want to hurt her, but he can’t be with her anymore. He knows she is in love with him and he loves her back, but he can’t find it in himself to love her the same way she loves him because he has been burned by love in the past. The song tells a dramatic story about one-sided love.

If you are in a situation like this, you should listen to this jam. This is James Ingram’s second-biggest pop hit single. Here is some trivia about the song. It wasn’t going to be a single at first. It was buried on the album. The other songs on the album didn’t resonate with audiences so the powers-that-be decided to release it as a single. The song wasn’t a big r&b hit, but it was a pop hit. It’s a good thing the powers-that-be changed their mind and released the single because it went on to be a hit. The music is very radio-friendly. The music is out of his wheelhouse because he wasn’t a pop star. He was an r&b and adult contemporary star. He managed to make the pop song work.

The music features the keyboard and strings. There is a drum section during the bridge. James Ingram sounds amazing in this song. He sings with the vulnerability needed to pull off the song. He does his signature falsetto wail near the end of the song. The background singers do a great job supporting him in the background. The irresistible song is worth repeating after you finish hearing it.

# 2- How Do You Keep the Music Playing ft Patti Austin

The metaphoric song is from the It’s Your Night album. The song has an r&b and soul beat. The realistic song is about a couple who is trying to keep their relationship together after the sparks have worn off. They try not to take each other for granted even though there is nothing left between them. The lyrics of the song are relatable to any couple who is trying to find a way to keep the spark alive in their relationship.

The song was written years ago, but people can still relate to it now. The song was in a movie called Best Friends. It was written for the movie, but you don’t have to watch the movie to appreciate the lyrics. The lyrics can apply to real-life situations. The music features the piano, violin, and drums. It has a classic r&b beat.

This is the first of two duets between James Ingram and Patti Austin to appear on our Top 10 James Ingram Songs list. They have amazing vocal chemistry with each other. They are the only ones who could have made this a masterpiece. It’s as if the song was made just for them. They give their all with the vocals. They both get a chance to vocally shine. They sound as if they are serenading the listeners with their great voices. This is one of the most beautiful duets ever done with the exception of the number one song on this list.

# 1 – Baby, Come to Me ft James Ingram

The number one song on our Top 10 James Ingram Songs list is “Baby, Come to Me” from Patti Austin’s Every Home Should Have One album. The song has an r&b beat. The comforting song is about someone being there for you when you are feeling down. They want to be the one to hold you when you’re down. This is a romantic love song.

This song made it to number one on the pop charts because it appeared on the soap opera General Hospital. Here is a fun fact about the song. Michael McDonald is singing in the background. As soon as you hear the first guitar string, you know what song is coming. The music is fire. It is very rhythmic and melodic. The music is perfect for slow dancing. It can also make the perfect wedding song. James Ingram and Patti Austin sound wonderful together. Their voices were made for each other. They both do a tremendous job with their vocals. They vocally nail the chorus. You will be swept away by the chorus. They command you to sing along with them.

They did the right thing by letting the song fade out with the chorus because it is the best part of the song. It is a showstopper. It’s too bad they didn’t get a chance to record more songs together. They are a duo who should have recorded a duet album. Everything about this song is flawless from the great music to the phenomenal singing.

Top 10 James Ingram Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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