Remembering Billy Paul

DSC_0513By Alex Lloyd Gross

Billy Paul died yesterday, April 24, 2016 from a battle with cancer.  According to reports, he was feeling ill and was recently admitted to Temple University Hospital. His died at his home, in Blackwood New Jersey. Paul, is  a local Philadelphia legend in the music industry.  His  voice is iconic.  His largest hit , “Me and Mrs.Jones”  was played on AM airwaves WIP and WFIL,  as well as WIBG when it first came out in 1972.  At  night, that signal carried his voice several thousands  of miles into other states.

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo Delaware Valley Billy Paul at an event honoring Gamble and Huff on South Broad Street.

He won a Grammy , but more importantly, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Walk of Fame  in 2008.  He was a fixture in the Philadelphia region during events for Gamble and Huff and was a supporter of local music. In November of 2010, Paul joined dozens of music notables to honor is famed producers Gamble and huff when they had a section of South Broad Street named after them. He released 15 albums. during his career.

On Paul’s website,  there are hundreds of comments from fans leaving their condolences. Most  have met him in person and or seen him live.  Paul always had time to say hello to people or to take a quick photo with them, when he was out. In a statement. Gamble and Huff said “We are very saddened to learn of the sudden death of our good friend and Philadelphia International Records recording artist Billy Paul. From the time we saw Billy performing live, and then signing him to our PIR/TSOP label, we immediately realized that we had discovered and launched one the most unique voices in the music industry. Billy’s voice combined both Jazz, R&B and Soul vocals, making him one the great artists to come out of Philly and to be celebrated worldwide. Our proudest moment with Billy was the recording of the salacious smash ‘Me and Mrs. Jones.’ In our view, it is one of the greatest love songs ever recorded. Billy was one of the first artists to help launch the PIR/TSOP brand, and he will forever have a special place in music history.”.

Funeral and or memorial services have not been announced.