Billy Paul, Grammy-winning vocalist of ‘Me And Mrs Jones’, dies at 80

Billy Paul, the soul singer best known for the ballad Me And Mrs Jones, has died aged 80. Paul’s co-manager, Beverly Gay, said he died at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, on Sunday. Paul had been recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Ms Gay said. Paul was one of many artists who had success with the Philadelphia-based writing and production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Paul’s voice made him “one of the great artists to come out of Philly and to be celebrated worldwide”, Gamble and Huff said in a statement.

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.

Producers Gamble and Huff

Me and Mrs Jones, a seductively arranged confession to an extramarital affair, was released in 1972 and won a Grammy award - and enjoyed more recent success thanks to the movie Bridget Jones’ Diary. The song was by far his biggest hit, although he did have some success with Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto, Thanks For Saving My Life and other releases. Years later, Paul sued Gamble and Huff and other industry officials over unpaid royalties and was awarded $500,000 by a Los Angeles jury in 2003.

It was like a family full of music. It was like music round the clock, you know. And I reminisce and I still wish those days were here.

Billy Paul on his time in the 'Philly Sound’ studios