I Don’t Have The Heart – James Ingram | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1); 1990

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Although today James Ingram is known for his smooth soul crooning, as a teenager he specialized as a keyboardist with Revelation Funk. Striking out on his own, Ingram took on various musical jobs, including backing up Ray Charles. In 1980 Quincy Jones caught James’ vocals on a demo tape of Just Once and picked the song and the singer for inclusion on his album The Dude. Ingram’s performance on Just Once and One Hundred Ways earned him three Grammy nominations and a Best Male R&B Vocal Performance win. Over the next decade, Ingram became a permanent fixture in the Adult Contemporary Top 10 as a duet partner with the likes of Patti Austin, Michael McDonald, Kenny Rogers, and Linda Ronstadt. However, his solo career went nowhere and – with the failure of the first three singles from 1989’s It’s Real – this trend seemed certain to continue into the 1990’s. However, solo success final arrived when the fourth single, I Don’t Have The Heart, rose to #1.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Thom Bell
  • James Ingram

Lyrics Written by:

  • Allan Rich
  • Jud Friedman