"If I'm in Vegas tomorrow, and on the corner the next day, I'm still the same person. The show that I gave in Vegas will be the same show I give in a small club. I want to reach everybody with my music.
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Born and raised in Philadelphia, Billy Paul began his singing career when he was twelve, appearing on local radio shows. Listening at home to his family's collection of 78's, Billy began developing a vocal style that would eventually incorporate traces of Jazz, R&B and Pop. "That's how I really got indoctrinated into music," recalls Billy. "My mother was always buying and collecting records, and she would buy everything from 'Jazz At The Philharmonic Hall' to Nat King Cole.
As Billy grew, so did his interest in music. Seeking to increase hidden technical skills, Billy attended Temple University, West Philadelphia Music School, and Granoff Music School, for formal training. Before too long, Billy found himself appearing in clubs and college campuses nationally. Switching from Rock to Soul to Pop ballads, he soon became an underground phenomenon in Philadelphia.
The amazing Mr. Paul began getting national recognition, and soon appeared in concert with such artists as Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, the Impressions, Sammy Davis and Roberta Flack. Nancy Wilson was so impressed with a track off his debut album that she recorded it herself.
Billy formed a trio and cut his first record, "Why Am I" for Jubilee Records before being drafted into the Armed Services. After his release from the service came a quick stop at the New Dawn Label, and a brief stand in for one of the Blue Notes with Harold Melvin. His first Philly album, "Feeling Good At The Cadillac Club" combined Billy Paul and Gamble/Huff produced tunes, and was released on the Gamble Label. This jazz L.P. was followed by one more commercial release "Ebony Woman", released on the Gamble & Huff Neptune label. Still later, Going East, Billy's first album released on the Philadelphia International Label, set him further into the commercial groove. However, it was with his second album that everything broke loose in his career. 360 Degrees Of Billy Paul with the ensuing single "Me And Mrs. Jones" selling over two million copies alone, placed Billy's name on the lips of every couple in love. The gold album and platinum single broke the artist on world charts, including Britain where the single entered the top five.
"Me And Mrs. Jones" went on to win Billy the coveted Grammy Award. In addition to receiving the Grammy, Billy Paul has won multiple Ebby awards (given by the readers of Ebony magazine); has been the recipient of the American Music Award, the NAACP Image Award and numerous proclamations and keys to cities across the United States. He's toured internationally with overwhelming response in the United Kingdom, South America and Latin America.
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