Last Updated: August 31, 2023
Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$20 Million
Date of Birth:
Feb 16, 1952 - Jan 29, 2019 (66 years old)
Place of Birth:
Singer-songwriter, Record producer, Film Score Composer, Musician, Songwriter, Instrumentalist, Singer
United States of America
💰 Compare James Ingram's Net Worth

What Was James Ingram's Net Worth?

James Ingram was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer who had a net worth of $20 million at the time of his death in 2019. James Ingram had eight Top 40 hits on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart, six Top 10 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and nine Top 10 hits on the "Billboard" Adult Contemporary chart. He had two #1 singles on the Hot 100 chart with "Baby, Come to Me" (with Patti Austin) and "I Don't Have the Heart."

The winner of two Grammys, James released the studio albums "It's Your Night" (1983), "Never Felt So Good" (1986), "It's Real" (1989), "Always You" (1993), and "Stand" (2008). Ingram earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for "The Day I Fall in Love" from the 1993 film "Beethoven's 2nd" and "Look What Love Has Done" from 1994's "Junior," and he performed the duet "Somewhere Out There" with Linda Ronstadt for the 1986 animated film "An American Tail." James' successful singles include "Just Once" (with Quincy Jones), "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (with Patti Austin), "Yah Mo B There" (with Michael McDonald), "What About Me?" (with Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes), "Always," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man," and "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)" (with Quincy Jones featuring Al. B. Sure!, El DeBarge, and Barry White). Sadly, Ingram died of brain cancer on January 29, 2019, at the age of 66.

Early Life

James Ingram was born James Edward Ingram on February 16, 1952, in Akron, Ohio. James was the son of Alistine Wilson Ingram and church deacon Henry Ingram Sr., and he had five siblings. His brother Phillip is known for being a founding member of the R&B/funk group Switch. Ingram studied at East High School and earned a track scholarship to attend the University of Akron. In 1973, James traveled to Los Angeles with the band Revelation Funk, and they appeared in the 1975 film "Dolemite." The rest of the band later returned to Ohio, but Ingram chose to stay in L.A. and work in R&B clubs as a solo performer. Before finding fame, James played keyboards for Grammy-winning musician Ray Charles, and he worked for the ATV music publishing company as a demo singer, earning $50 per song.


Ingram performed on the 1981 Quincy Jones album "The Dude," providing vocals on the tracks "One Hundred Ways" and "Just Once." James' work on the album earned him three Grammy nominations, and he won the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "One Hundred Ways." He released his debut album, "It's Your Night," in 1983, and the Gold album reached #46 on the "Billboard" 200 chart and #10 on the "Billboard" Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The singles "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (with Patti Austin) and "Yah Mo B There" (with Michael McDonald) were top 10 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Ingram had previously recorded the song "Baby, Come to Me" with Austin, and that single reached #1 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. In 1984, he had a #1 single on the Adult Contemporary chart with "What About Me?," which was featured on the Kenny Rogers album of the same name. James' second album, 1986's "Never Felt So Good," reached #37 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. That year "Somewhere Out There," his duet with Linda Ronstadt from the film "An American Tail," reached the top 10 on the charts in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the U.K. and was certified Gold in the U.S. The song earned Ingram and Ronstadt a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

James Ingram

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James' 1989 album "It's Real" reached #44 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and the title track peaked at #8 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album also featured the single "I Don't Have the Heart," which reached #1 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Ingram released his fourth album, "Always You," in 1993, and it reached #76 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. James and Dolly Parton performed the duet "The Day I Fall in Love" (which Ingram co-wrote) for the 1993 film "Beethoven's 2nd," and it earned him his first Academy Award nomination. James was nominated again for co-writing the song "Look What Love Has Done" for the 1994 film "Junior." In 2004, Ingram was a duet partner on the Fox reality competition "Celebrity Duets," and in 2008, he released his fifth album, "Stand," which reached #18 on the Top Gospel Albums chart. In 2011, he participated in Cliff Richard's "Soulicious Tour" in the U.K., and the following year, he guest-starred on the ABC series "Suburgatory" and performed R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" at Debbie Allen's Los Angeles concert to celebrate the Space Shuttle Endeavour's arrival.

Personal Life

James married Debra Robinson on February 16, 1975, and they remained together until Ingram's death in early 2019. The couple welcomed six children together.


On January 29, 2019, James passed away from brain cancer at the age of 66. Ingram's close friend Debbie Allen tweeted about the sad news, writing, "I have lost my dearest friend and creative partner James Ingram to the Celestial Choir. 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."

Awards and Nominations

Ingram earned 14 Grammy nominations, winning Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "One Hundred Ways" in 1982 and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "Yah Mo B There" (shared with Michael McDonald) in 1985. He received Academy Award nominations for Best Music, Original Song and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Song – Motion Picture for "The Day I Fall in Love" from "Beethoven's 2nd" and "Look What Love Has Done" from "Junior." In 1991, James earned "Soul Train" Award nominations for Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Single – Male for "I Don't Have the Heart" and Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Single – Group, Band or Duo for "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)" (shared with Quincy Jones, El DeBarge, Al B. Sure!, and Barry White).

Real Estate

In 1982, Ingram paid $268,000 for a 3,250 square foot home in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles. He sold the five-bedroom, three-bathroom home for $1.6 million in 2016.

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