Soul Singer Billy Paul Has Passed Away At The Age Of 81
|Soul Singer Billy Paul Has Passed Away At The Age Of 81|
Manager Beverly Gay told Reports that Paul, born Paul Williams, was recently diagnosed with cancer and was hospitalized last week at Temple University Hospital.
He died Sunday at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, according to Gay.
The singer is best known for his hit song "Me and Mrs. Jones," which was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 1972. He also won a Grammy for that song in the Best Male R&B vocal category.
He also attended the West Philadelphia Music School and the Granoff School of Music where he received his vocal training.
Early in his career, Paul performed at several clubs and college campuses with many jazz and soul music legends, including Charlie "Bird" Parker, Nina Simone, Miles Davis and Roberta Flack.
After serving in the Army, where he was stationed with Elvis Presley, Paul released his debut album "Feelin' Good at the Cadillac Club" in 1968 on legendary producer and Philly soul pioneer Kenny
Gamble's Gamble Records label.
Paul gained his greatest success when he released his 1972 single “Me and Mrs. Jones,” which was written and produced by Gamble and Huff.
The song was the number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles chart and received a Grammy Award. The song also received newfound attention decades later when singer Michael Buble released a cover version in 2007.
Paul's succeeding record, "Let's Make a Baby," was so controversial that the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for it to be banned at radio stations because of its sexual content.
Though he was never able to match the success of "Me and Mrs. Jones," Paul remained a respected musician in R&B, jazz and funk. Questlove of The Roots once equated the often unmentioned singer to greats like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.