James Ingram's death brought clarity

Getting this news today was super sad regarding James Ingram’s death after his battle with cancer. I was a toddler when he was at the height of his career with songs like, “Baby come to me”, and my mom’s favorite song “I Don’t Have The Heart”. His music was apart of my upbringing for years.

As talented AND beautiful as his voice was, he didn’t even believe in him self in the beginning of his career. It’s crazy, I was researching his journey and discovered that James Ingram (for the longest) DID NOT believe in his own voice. He would sing back up merely for extra cash at around $50 a song. I mean he actually used the words, “I knew I couldn’t sing, I wasn’t trying… I was just doing back up.” James was so sure he wasn’t a good singer, that when Quincy Jones called and wanted to add him to his album, James hung up on him!.

James eventually began to believe in his gift after many others validated him. Of course he definitely understood he was a great singer when he went on to gain 14 grammy nominations and won 2. This just got me to thinking of myself and plenty of others like me, who at one time just didn’t believe in the things that they were naturally good at because, (like me) just too busy comparing my apples to someone else’s grapefruit! (nope I refuse to say oranges thank you very much) Yes apples and grapefruits are both edible and both fruits, BUT the type of person that may love grapefruits may not care for apples. It doesn’t make one better than the other, just a different appeal.

After reading on his death, I began to make mental notes about all of the things that I’ve doubted about myself and my gifts. My clarity moment is that you may not have x but you do have y, and there’s so much purpose in recognizing that there are people drawn to Y-O-U and what you have to offer the world, just the way your gift is. If you are intentional with your gifts, you may be able to win a corporate or business world type of grammy. Who knows?! Just don’t stay in the habit of doubting yourself.

-Monique Davis


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