Billy Paul Dies At 81; Topped Charts With 'Me And Mrs. Jones'
April 25, 2016 at 3:55 AM (PT)
BILLY PAUL, whose long career was highlighted by the chart-topping and Grammy-winning 1972 PHILLY Soul hit "Me And Mrs. Jones," died SUNDAY at his home in BLACKWOOD, NJ after a battle with pancreatic cancer at 81.
PAUL, a PHILADELPHIA native, started his career at age 11, singing on WPEN-A/PHILADELPHIA; at 16, he signed with JUBILEE RECORDS, and, after a stint in the Army, recorded for NEW DAWN RECORDS and FINCH RECORDS before a fateful meeting with producer KENNY GAMBLE led to recording for GAMBLE and LEON HUFF's GAMBLE RECORDS, NEPTUNE RECORDS, and PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS, the label for which PAUL's hit "Me And Mrs. Jones" and album "3060 Degrees of BILLY PAUL" were released in 1972.
He also reached the pop charts with "Am I Black Enough For You?" and "Thanks For Saving My Life" in 1973, "Let's Make A Baby" in 1976, and "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto" in 1977.
PAUL later recorded for TOTAL EXPERIENCE and ICHIBAN. PAUL also sued NIKE and ad agency WIEDEN & KENNEDY over the use of "Me and Mrs. Jones" in a commercial in 2000 and successfully sued GAMBLE and HUFF along with SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT for unpaid royalties.