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Billy Paul Dies: 'Me and Mrs. Jones' Singer Was 80

Image: Billy Paul Dies: 'Me and Mrs. Jones' Singer Was 80
(Photo by Felix de Malleray/Sipa USA)

By    |   Monday, 25 Apr 2016 12:50 PM

Billy Paul, jazz and soul singer known for “Me and Mrs. Jones” and "Philadelphia Soul," died Sunday at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey. He was 81.

He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, The Associated Press reported.

Paul worked with Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff of Philadelphia International Records.

"Our proudest moment with Billy was the recording of the salacious smash 'Me and Mrs. Jones.' In our view, it is one of the greatest love songs ever recorded," they said in a statement.

Paul won a Grammy for the 1972 hit.

The Philadelphia native was born Paul Williams but changed his name to avoid confusion with a songwriter and other musicians with the same name, the AP said. During his more than 60 years as a musician, Paul performed with such jazz greats as Charlie Parker and Dinah Washington.

In 2003 he was awarded $500,000 in a lawsuit against Gamble and Huff and other industry officials over unpaid royalties, the AP said.

Paul began his career at age 11 with an appearance on a local radio program, WCAU-TV reported. He attended West Philadelphia Music School and the Granoff School of Music. He was inducted into the Philadelphia Walk of Fame in 2008.

The soul singer recorded more than a dozen albums with songs including "Am I Black Enough For You," "Let's Clean Up the Ghetto,” and "Bring The Family Back."

Questlove of The Roots called Paul "one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution '60s civil rights music," NPR reported.

Paul joined the Army, and tried to get Elvis Presley to join a jazz band with him and Gary Crosby when they were stationed together in Germany after World War II, NPR reported.

Paul’s death was confirmed on his website.

Twitter users bid farewell to the legendary singer.

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Billy Paul, jazz and soul singer known for “Me and Mrs. Jones” and "Philadelphia Soul," died Sunday at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey. He was 81.
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2016-50-25
Monday, 25 Apr 2016 12:50 PM
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