US & Canada

Soul's Billy Paul, singer of Me and Mrs Jones, dies

Billy Paul in glasses and a top hat, singing in to a microphone
Image caption This 1974 photograph shows Mr Paul performing on Top of the Pops

The American soul singer Billy Paul has died at the age of 81.

He was best known for his 1972 hit Me and Mrs Jones, which won a Grammy award and reached number one in the US.

A statement on his website said he died on Sunday of a "serious medical condition". The NME music magazine has reported that this was pancreatic cancer.

Mr Paul, who was born as Paul Williams in Philadelphia, helped shape the course of modern R&B music.

In his youth, he performed alongside music legends including Charlie Parker and Nina Simone.

His biggest hit Me and Mrs Jones, about an extra-marital affair, has been covered by artists including Michael Buble and Hall & Oates.

In 2003, Mr Paul won a $500,000 (then £250,534) lawsuit for royalties owed for it from 1994 to 2002 by Assorted Music.

The company said it was an accounting issue and not a case of trying to cheat anyone out of money.

Mr Paul is survived by his wife, Blanche Williams.

Initial reports, subsequently corrected, put his age at time of death as 80.

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