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'Me and Mrs. Jones' Singer, Billy Paul Dies

  • VOA News

FILE - Singer Billy Paul.

FILE - Singer Billy Paul.

Singer Billy Paul, best known for his song Me and Mrs. Jones, died Sunday. He was 80.

On Me and Mrs. Jones, a number one song in 1972, Paul crooned about a love affair between a man and a married woman.

The sultry song earned Paul a Grammy for best male rhythm and blues performance, beating out his competitors who included Ray Charles, Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes.

It was his biggest hit and Paul would be identified with the song for the rest of his life.

Paul was one of many singers who found success with the writing and producing team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, whose Philadelphia International Records also released music by the O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

Years later in 2003, however, Paul sued Gamble and Huff for unpaid royalties on Me and Mrs. Jones and won. A California jury awarded Paul a half million dollars.

Paul was born Paul Williams. At the suggestion of a manager, he began to use Billy Paul as his stage name to avoid confusion with the songwriter Paul Williams.

Paul continued to perform throughout the years. The Associated Press reports that he was lining up appearances shortly before his death.

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