Just once hitmaker James Ingram dead at 66!

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R&B singer James Ingram, known for the soulful, smooth voice behind hits like Just once and I don't have the heart, is dead. He was 66. Ingram's long-time friend and creative partner, Debbie Allen, confirmed the news to cnn.com.

"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," Allen wrote in a tribute on Twitter.

The cause of Ingram's death has not been revealed. Ingram, an Ohio native, got his start as a musician with the band Revelation Funk and later played keyboards for Ray Charles. He was nominated for 14 Grammy Awards, winning for best male R&B performance for his song One Hundred Ways in 1981 and best R&B performance for a duo or group in 1984 for Yah Mo B There.

His duet with Patti Austin, How Do You Keep the Music Playing, earned an Oscar nomination for best original song in 1983. Over the course of his career, Ingram also had successful collaborations with Linda Ronstadt, Quincy Jones, Barry White and Dolly Parton. He co-wrote Michael Jackson's hit song P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) with Jones.

Ingram was also nominated for two Golden Globe Awards -- one in 1994 for best original song for The Day I Fall in Love and again in the same category the following year for Look What Love Has Done.

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