Billy Joe Royal dies suddenly at his North Carolina home
Country and Pop singer Billy Joe Royal died suddenly on Tuesday morning at his Marietta, North Carolina at age 73.
Topping the country charts in the eighties, and Top Ten single Down in the Boondocks in 1965 - Royal made his singing debut at only 5 years-old performing at a New Years Eve show featuring Gladys Knight.
Royal performed in the house band at the Gilley's-like Bamboo Ranch in Savannah, toured with Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars alongside Herman's Hermits, Jackie DeShannon and others, with a backing band featuring future members of Chicago.
His hit single Cherry Hill Park won Top 15 in 1969 before signing with Atlantic label, which he then went on to produce a number of successful country hits.
In 1988, the Country singer was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and in recent years he worked alongside longtime friend B.J. Thomas.
Funeral arrangement for the singer are still being arranged.