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Sad News Billy Paul RIP

Sad News Billy Paul RIP magazine cover

Philadelphia soul singer Billy Paul died at the age of 81 this Sunday morning at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, 

Sourced via http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Billy-Paul-Soul-Singer-Death-Philadelphia-Manager--376903281.html


Also the following statement was announced on the website billypaul.com

We regret to announce 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

RIP Billy Paul


A full detailed biography is featured on wikipedia and billypaul.com and some brief preview clips from this follows below...

Billy Paul (born Paul Williams; December 1, 1935) is a Grammy Award winning American soul singer, most known for his 1972 number-one single, "Me and Mrs. Jones" as well as the 1973 album and single "War of the Gods" which blends his more conventional pop, soul and funk styles with electronic and psychedelic influences. He is one of the many artists associated with the Philadelphia soul sound created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell. Paul is usually identified by his diverse vocal style which ranges from mellow and soulful to low and raspy. Questlove of The Roots has equated Paul to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, calling him "one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution '60s civil rights music...

...was a brief stand in for one of the ailing Blue Notes with Harold Melvin. Paul remembered: "Well, I didn’t want to dance so Harold Melvin fired me (laughs). I had a six month stay with The Flamingos - I was with The Flamingos for a while." It was around this time that Paul established a lifelong friendship withMarvin Gaye—both singers filling in with other groups. Paul recalled: "I was one of the Blue Notes at one time and Marvin Gaye was in The Moonglows.... We were such good friends. We never did a record together and that would have been one of my dreams. And you know what one of my fascinations is? What we would be doing if he were here today. I think about Marvin every day. The love I have for this man is unbelievable. We were close, we were like brothers. When I would go on the road out in California, he would go round to the house...

...Oh man! I was up against Ray Charles, I was up against Curtis Mayfield, I was up against Isaac Hayes. I was in the Wilberforce University in Ohio, I had to go do a homecoming - my wife and her mother went. And when I see Ringo Starr call my name, I said Ohhh... Yeah... The most sobering thing is to have a number one record across the whole entire world in all languages. It’s a masterpiece, it’s a classic. "The song was PIR's first No. 1. In addition, the label was enjoying considerable success with their other artists including the O'Jays and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Paul remembered the atmosphere at the label: "It was like a family full of music. It was like music round the clock, you know...

...with 'Am I Black Enough.' I wanted - I'm gonna make it this time and come out. I think it's true to the audience, cos they look for something to come out compared to Mrs. Jones and that was Clive Davis' idea to do that. I think it was Kenny and Clive Davis, but I think it was mostly Clive Davis."For his part, Davis has said that he opposed releasing the song as a single. Still, Davis called it an "all time great record, all time great performance. "Gamble, the co-writer and producer of the track, said the song "was great and Billy sounded great doing it.".Paul reflected...

...Reverend George Clements (left) honored Billy Paul for the song "Let 'Em In." Reverend George Clements, the crusading pastor of Holy Angels Catholic Church on the South Side of Chicago presented Paul with an award for the song on Billy Paul Day, 23 May 1977 that included a ceremony at the church with the church's school choir performing the song. When informed of the honor by Father Clements, Paul reportedly cried tears of joy...

... Andrew Hamilton put it bluntly: "Gamble and Huff did a horrible job picking Paul's singles. Some better choices, and his career might have been Hall-of-Famish."Similarly, Jason Ankeny wrote: "Too easily dismissed as little more than a one-hit wonder, Billy Paul was, in fact, one of the most gifted and affecting talents to grace the Philadelphia International stable - the recipient of some of the Gamble and Huff team's most lush and sophisticated productions. His deeply soulful voice bridged the gap between jazz and soul, textured in equal measure by street-smart swagger and touching ...

...made two studio albums in the 1980s. The first Lately was released in 1985 and was a dramatic musical departure from the lush Philadelphia Soul of his previous efforts. Recorded for Lonnie Simmons' Total Experience Records, the album's synthesizer and keyboard-driven tracks (typical of music production at the time) were closer to Simmons' work with The Gap Band and Yarbrough and Peoples than they were to Paul's 70's orchestrated wall of sound. The album's title track, a ballad, was released as a single in the U.K. but did not chart. The follow-up single - a slow jam called "Sexual Therapy" - fared better climbing to #80 on the U.K. charts.
Paul's final studio album was 1988's Wide Open for the Ichiban label. Similar in production style to his previous release, though perhaps a bit smoother, it reached #61 on the Soul chart. However, the singles "We Could Have Been" and "I Just Love You So Much" failed...

...2009, the biographical feature film Am I Black Enough for You?, directed by Swedish director Göran Hugo Olsson was released. Awarding the film three stars,Uncut magazine said "Olsson modelled his film on Let’s Get Lost, Bruce Weber’s 1989 portrait of Chet Baker, saying: "Paul is certainly no fallen demi-genius to set alongside Baker, but he proves an engaging, articulate subject, with a story that stretches back to playing alongside Charlie Parker, and peppered with the usual racial prejudice. His career is, in its way, emblematic of black America’s struggles over the last half century, including a descent into cocaine addiction and recovery, both shared with his wife, who remains a quirky, willful presence throughout the ...

...receiving the Grammy for "Me and Mrs. Jones", Paul has won several Ebby awards given by the readers of Ebony magazine; has been a recipient of anAmerican Music Award, the NAACP Image Award and numerous proclamations and keys to cities across the United States. Paul received the 2015 AMG Favorite Retro Artist of the Year award as well as being given the prestigious Sandy Hosey Lifetime Achievement Award during the Artists Music Guild's 2015 AMG Heritage Awards broadcast held on November 14, 2015 in Monroe, NC..




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polyvelts's profile photo


Sad news indeed. His delivery of  'Me and Mrs Jones' is so beautiful.


Becket's profile photo


Such a recognisable Voice.  One of THE voices of Philadelphia.

Always loved "Brown Baby" from around the same time as "Me & Mrs Jones".

Very sad loss.

Cheers....................   Tom.

mickjay33's profile photo




sjclement's profile photo


Such a distinctive vocal, more of a jazz than soul singer, 


John Moffatt's profile photo


Yet another one. We'll all be joining them before too long, wherever that is.


Soultaker's profile photo


I'm so done with this year.  I mean he lived a long life, but still this is too much.

El Corol's profile photo


This is one of my fave  Philly tracks ever.


  • Up vote 1
Guest Johnny One Trout\


Sad, sad news R.I.P Billy a true Legend. We even met him a couple of times once in Blackpool and once in Philly on the Soultrip to New Jersey. Gone but not forgotten


kevinsoulman's profile photo


R.I.P. have a few of his 45's but the only LP i bought was war of the gods ,will have to give it a play tonight 


thefletchers's profile photo


Sad news, another star to add to the heavenly host, at least his music will last for ever. R I P billy

Mr Fred's profile photo

Posted (edited)

Saddened to hear the news of Billy's passing. He was a favourite artist of my dear late brother Rob Ward. He was Captivated by "me and mrs jones" also "Let em in". Lots of our idols have passed on this year, Their music will live on .                                     

R.I.P. Billy                                                                                                                                                                          

Edited by Mr Fred
daved's profile photo


RIP Billy. Bring The Family Back still sounds as good today as it did the first time I heard it.


Stubbsy's profile photo


Loved his version of "Only The Strong Survive"

RIP Billy Paul

JMSOUL's profile photo



Blackpoolsoul's profile photo


Every month I keep hoping to win on the Post Code lottery :) I wonder what the "Great"man would have thought, if he had known ?



ezzie brown's profile photo


great singer......r.i.p

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