Tags: billy joe royal | dies | singer | boondocks

Billy Joe Royal, 'Down in the Boondocks' Singer, Dies at 73

Image: Billy Joe Royal, 'Down in the Boondocks' Singer, Dies at 73
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By    |   Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015 03:39 PM

Billy Joel Royal, a veteran country and pop singer perhaps best known for the song "Down in the Boondocks," died unexpectedly in his sleep on Tuesday at his home in North Carolina. He was 73.

Although Royal was born just north of Atlanta in Valdosta, Georgia, his rise to fame came from his performances in Savannah, according to Billboard. Approximately 2,500 people would pack the Bamboo Ranch in Savannah to hear Royal and other singers perform.

After “Down in the Boondocks” hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965, Royal followed up with other hits, including, “I Knew You When” and “Cherry Hill Park,” the latter of which became his final Top-40 hit on the pop charts in 1969. After those successes, Royal’s career took him to Mercury Records and Atlanta Records in Nashville.

Some of Royal’s biggest country track hits include “If the Jukebox Took Teardrops” and “Searchin’ for Some Kind of Clue,” Variety reported.

Royal was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1988 and, in more recent years, he toured with B.J. Thomas, the Grammy Award-winner who performed the 1969 hit “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” according to Rolling Stone. His last performance was last month at the Gwinnett County Fair in Georgia.

When news of Royal’s death became public knowledge on Tuesday, Thomas shared his sadness on Twitter.



Royal is survived by his ex-wife, Michelle, his daughter, Savannah Royal, and his two stepsons, Trey and Joey Riverbank, according to Rolling Stone.

Royal’s friends and fans took to Twitter to convey their condolences and to honor a man who left a significant mark on country music throughout the '60s, '70s, and '80s:







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Billy Joel Royal, a veteran country and pop singer perhaps best known for the song "Down in the Boondocks," died unexpectedly in his sleep on Tuesday at his home in North Carolina. He was 73.
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2015-39-07
Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015 03:39 PM
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