The musical legend death toll of 2016 continues to rise dramatically with the latest tragedy circling the death of 81-year-old Grammy winner Billy Paul; a Philly-born soul crooner best known for his stellar international hit 'Me And Mrs Jones'. His passing was announced by his manager today.

Billy PaulAnother legend lives us: RIP Billy Paul

Billy Paul (born Paul Williams) passed away yesterday morning (April 24th 2016) at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey following a very short battle with pancreatic cancer. Paul was only recently diagnosed with the illness and died just after spending a week at Temple University Hospital. Manager Beverly Gay announced the sad news and a full statement was also released on the singer's website. 

'We regret to annouce with a heavy heart that Billy has passed away today at home after a serious medical condition', it read. 'We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to his wife Blanche and family for their loss, as they and the world grieves the loss of another musical icon that helped pioneered today's R&B music. Billy will be truly missed.'

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He hasn't released any music since the 80s, but his 1972 number one hit 'Me And Mrs Jones' - which earned the Philadelphia singer a Grammy - was re-released in 2011 for the 40th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records. That same year he recorded a duet of Motown's 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' with Chimène Badi. Plus, the singer has never stopped touring and even had appearances lined up before he died.

Among those who have paid tribute to the late singer are Reverend & The Makers who branded him an 'absolute legend', Martha Reeves who sent 'love and condolences to his beloved wife', and Jeremy Clarkson who recommended radio stations play his 'wonderful' cover of 'Your Song'.

Billy Paul is survived by his wife of almost 50 years Blanche Williams, with whom he had two children.