Philadelphia soul singer Billy Paul died Sunday at the age of 81 after a battle with cancer. The singer, who rose to fame in 1972 with his hit "Me and Mrs. Jones," died in his New Jersey home, according to his manager, Beverly Gay.
Gay said Paul was hospitalized last week and diagnosed with cancer. Paul's death was announced on his personal website:
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 [grieve] the loss of another musical icon that helped [pioneer] today's R&B music. Billy will be truly missed.
Please share you[r] thought, messages and stories of Billy as we remember this legendary artist, family member and friend.
Paul was born Dec. 1, 1934, in Philadelphia. Before hitting it big, he performed with Charlie "Bird" Parker, Nina Simone, Miles Davis and Roberta Flack. Paul released a total of 15 albums between 1968 and 1988 and went on to win a Grammy for "Me and Mrs. Jones."