The ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ hitmaker passed away at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, on Sunday, his manager Beverly Gay has confirmed.
The star had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had checked into Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia as he battled the disease.
Billy won a Grammy Award thanks to his number one hit ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ – which was covered by Michael Buble in 2007 – after it was released in 1972.
Speaking about the song, he previously said: “Oh man! I was up against Ray Charles, I was up against Curtis Mayfield, I was up against Isaac Hayes.
“I was in the Wilberforce University in Ohio, I had to go do a homecoming – my wife and her mother went. And when I see Ringo Starr call my name, I said, ‘Oh Yeah.’
“The most sobering thing is to have a number one record across the whole entire world in all languages. It’s a masterpiece, it’s a classic.”
While he didn’t taste such great success with his other songs, the late singer’s tunes did have an impact in the black power movement.
What’s more, his 1975 hit ‘Let’s Make a Baby’ caused controversy because of its sexuality and Rev. Jesse Jackson called for the tune to be banned by radio stations as a result.