Philadelphia soul singer Billy Paul passed away at his home in Blackwood, N.J., on Sunday (April 24). He was 81.
The singer’s manager, Beverly Gay, told NBC10 Philadelphia that Paul was diagnosed with cancer and was hospitalized last week at Temple University.
A statement on Paul’s official website reads:
“We regret to announce with a heavy heart that Billy has passed away today at home after a serious medical condition. We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to his wife Blanche and family for their loss, as they and the world grieves the loss of another musical icon that helped pioneered todays R&B music. Billy will be truly missed. Please share your thoughts, messages and stories of Billy as we remember this legendary artist, family member and friend.”
Born on Dec. 1, 1934 in Philadelphia, Paul, whose real name Paul Williams, is widely known for his Grammy-winning 1972 song “Me and Mrs. Jones,” which was written and produced by legendary tunesmiths Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.
During his 20-year career (1968-1988), Paul released over 15 albums, although he never quite match the chart-topping success of “Me and Mrs. Jones.”
Questlove of the Roots, who once compared him to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, paid a tribute to him on his Instagram account.
We want to send our heartfelt condolences to Billy Paul’s family and friends. May he rest in peace.
The Amazing Velvet Voiced Singer there ever was. He even made extra marital affairs sound awesome "Me & Mrs Jones". Through Dilla most of us learned to keep the Dollar Circulating. But man Billy Paul was the SPIRIT of The Sound Of Philadelphia. The most political voice in the PIR cannon. Be it incarceration or living conditions in the ghetto.—this —-I'm thinking and typing in real time. —-this musical rapture going on in 2016 is scaring me. All the adults that affected me in my childhood are making an exodus one by one. The music world lost a CRUCIAL unique vocalist this evening. No one has that velvet texture. Man….this is a sad year for my record collection. BillyPaulRIP.