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Billy Joe Royal (1942 - 2015)

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Billy Joe Royal (1942 - 2015)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Billy Joe Royal, a pop singer who popularized the song "Down in the Boondocks," and crossed over into country music, has died. He was 73 years old.

His agent, Brent Taylor, said the singer died at his home Tuesday in Morehead City, North Carolina.

The Georgia-born singer debuted on Columbia Records with "Down in the Boondocks" in 1965, which reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. But he struggled to match his initial success with his subsequent records and starting in the late 1980s, he reinvented himself as a country singer.

He was known for songs like "I'll Pin a Note on Your Pillow," ''Tell it Like it is," and "Till I Can't Take it Anymore." He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1988.

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