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Me and Mrs Jones singer Billy Paul dies at age of 81

By PA Reporter

Published 26/04/2016

Success: Billy Paul
Success: Billy Paul

Soul singer Billy Paul (81), whose career spanned more than 60 years, has died at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, his co-manager Beverly Gay said. He had been diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer.

Known by his beard and large glasses, 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, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and Lou Rawls.

Me And Mrs Jones was an extramarital confession and a characteristic Gamble and Huff production, setting Paul's thick tenor against a lush and sensuous arrangement.

Many fans best remember the moment when Paul's otherwise subtle vocals jump as they reach the title words, stretching out "Me" and "And" into multiple syllables and repeating "Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones".

The song was one of the top singles of 1972 and brought Paul a Grammy the following year.

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