Grammy-winning soul singer Billy Paul has passed away at the age of 81.
Best known for his iconic R&B tune and #1 single Me & Mrs Jones (which you’ve definitely heard before if you’ve seen Scrubs or Bridget Jones’s Diary), Paul passed away at his New Jersey home on Sunday morning, US time.
According to Washington’s WTOP, the Philadelphia-born crooner had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and succumbed to complications of the disease after being hospitalised last week.
His website also confirmed the sad news with the following statement:
“We regret to announce with a heavy heart that Billy has passed away today at home after a serious medical condition,” the statement said. “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 pioneer today’s R&B music. Billy will be truly missed.”
Though Me & Mrs Jones was his only #1 hit, Paul was a prolific and influential figure in the Philly soul scene, releasing more than 15 albums between 1968 and 1988. He also stirred up some controversy following his post-Me & Mrs Jones release, the provocative Am I Black Enough For You?, which carried a strong political message that still continues to resonate decades after its original release.
Watch: Billy Paul – Me & Mrs. Jones