The music world lost another great over the weekend. “Me & Mrs. Jones” singer Billy Paul passed away at age 81. The news was confirmed on the singer's website in a post that read, "We regret to announce with a heavy heart that Billy has passed away today at home after a serious medical condition."
The Recording Academy released a statement, saying, "We are terribly saddened to learn of the passing of GRAMMY Award winner Billy Paul. Billy was a much-beloved figure from the Philadelphia music scene, and he brought a sophisticated jazz sensibility to his most famous hit, 1972's 'Me And Mrs. Jones.' His career was marked by songs of empowerment and his incredible voice. We have lost a very talented member of our creative community, and our sincerest condolences go out to Billy's family, friends, collaborators, and all of his fans worldwide. He will be missed."
The Motown legend had been battling cancer, and died in his New Jersey home. He is survived by his wife, Blanche.
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.
Paul was best known for his 1972 hit "Me & Mrs. Jones," and though he had little commercial success after winning a GRAMMY for the song, he became a key figure in music of the ‘70s, who was known for his socially-conscious lyrics.
Questlove honored the late artist on Instagram, writing, “The Amazing Velvet Voiced Singer there ever was. He even made extra marital affairs sound awesome ‘Me & Mrs Jones’… 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.”
Paul’s death marks yet another significant loss for music lovers everywhere. This year alone stars including rocker David Bowie and pop icon Prince have passed.