billy-paul

2016 isn’t letting up. Not one bit. Days after we shockingly lost Prince, “Me & Mr. Jones” singer Billy Paul has passed away. He was 81. His manager, Beverly Gay confirmed Paul’s passing to NBC10 in Philadelphia. A full statement was released on his official website, which you can read below.

We regret to annouce 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 you thought, messages and stories of Billy as we remember this legendary artist, family member and friend…….

Paul (real name Paul Williams) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had passed away at his home. As a singer, he reached his commercial peak in 1972 with “Me & Mrs. Jones” which hit No. 1 for three weeks in the end of that year. It earned him the 1973 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. Along the way, his career spanned over 15 albums and also many a controversy. The followup single to “Me & Mrs. Jones” in “Am I Black Enough For You,” with its message about black empowerment caused mainstream radio to shy away from Paul, especially considering the natural force of love that was “Me & Mrs. Jones”.

Over time, Paul’s sound expanded to include psychedelic rock, including on the title track to his follow-up album War Of The Gods in 1973. Over time, Billy Paul became a staple of the Philadelphia soul machine, not only being outspoken about his music about being protective of it. Lawsuits levied against Nike for its use of “Me & Mrs. Jones” without permission in an ad campaign for Marion Jones as well as suing his former label for unpaid royalties. In recent times, Paul’s music was sampled heavily by hip-hop artists. “War Of The Gods” was sampled by Ludacris for 2006’s “War With God” and “Let The Dollars Circulate” was sampled by Jeezy & Don Cannon for “Circulate” off of 2008’s The Recession.

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