Monday, April 25, 2016

ANCESTRAL RETURN: R&B Pioneer - Grammy Award-Winning Soul Singer Billy Paul Transcends To The Spirit Realm At Age 81; Best Known For The Romantic Classic "Me And Mrs Jones"!

Billy Paul - An icon of his hometown's 'Philly Soul' sound

April 25, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Billy Paul, the soul and R&B singer best known for romantic classic Me and Mrs Jones, has died at his home in the US state of New Jersey. He was 81.

The Grammy winner's passing was announced in a statement on his website.

"We regret to announce with a heavy heart that Billy has passed away today [Sunday] at home after a serious medical condition," the statement read.

"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."

WATCH: Billy Paul - Me and Mrs. Jones.

Paul's manager Beverly Gay told TV station NBC10 in Philadelphia that the singer had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was hospitalised last week.

Born Paul Williams in Philadelphia on December 1 1934, Paul was an icon of his hometown's 'Philly Soul' sound and legendary label Philadelphia International Records (PIR).

His music career began at the age of 11 when he appeared on local radio station WPEN and he went on to share bills with such greats as Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr, Roberta Flack, Charlie Parker and Nina Simone. During his military service he was stationed in Germany with Elvis Presley.

Fans and friends have been paying tribute on social media:

Having worked with the Philly Sound's trailblazing producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff on their two previous record labels, Paul was the duo's first signing to Philadelphia International Records. They went on to enjoy huge success with the 1972 album 360 Degrees of Billy Paul, which gave them the number one hit Me and Mrs Jones. The following year, Paul won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for the song.

Follow-up single Am I Black Enough for You?'s political lyrics proved controversial and the track did not have the same commercial impact as Me and Mrs Jones. While Am I Black Enough for You? was released as a single against Paul's wishes, in later years he described the song as being "ahead of its time".

WATCH: Billy Paul - Am I Black Enough For You.

In total, Paul released 15 albums. While he never equalled the success of Me and Mrs Jones, his reputation as an innovator grew over the decades.

In a fitting tribute during Paul's life, drummer Questlove of legendary Philadelphia outfit The Roots described him as "one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution '60s civil rights music".

- RTE.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...