Joy Simon has passed away at the age of 85.
The Grammy-winning R&B singer was famous for his hit songs including Power of Love and The Chokin’ Kind.
He died on Monday in his hometown, which is near Chicago.
Joe was born in Simsport, Louisiana in 1943.
According to Board, he hated picking cotton and decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a singer.
Joe spent his early years in LA homeless as he lived in a chicken coop.
Despite struggling to make ends meet, Joe wrote 20 to 30 each day, working on developing his singing voice.
He improvised so much that a label owner paid him $1,100 to record four songs by other songwriters.
Joe brought in local musicians, including future greats Sly Stone and Larry Graham, to play on the 1964 song My Adorable One.
The song was well received and became a success hit.
His career soon took off and he has now landed three #1 and 14 top 10 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Joe also scored a Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male Grammy for his 1969 hit The Chokin’ Kind.
The musician later collaborated with Philly Sound hitmakers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff on the 1971 song Drowning in the Sea of Love, which was made as the theme for the 1973 film Cleopatra Jones.
As he continued to release hit songs, Joe started his own indie label, Spring & Pause.
He signed funk stars including Millie Jackson and the Fatback Band.
Known as “The Mouth of the South”, he was often compared to musicians Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson.
Despite his successful music career, Joe quit performing in 1983 to become an ordained minister.
He worked as a traveling pastor while his first sermon was to an audience of 4,000 people at Rapids Coliseum near New Orleans.
According to Billboard, Joe turned his career on a theatrical stage moment after moment when he forgot the words to his hit songs in front of 10,000 fans.
Following the musician’s death, celebrities and fans took to Twitter to pay tribute to Joe.
Singer Betty LaVette wrote: “We lost another good guys. RIP Rhythm & Blues legend, Joe Simon. One of the nicest guys I’ve met in show business.”
One fan wrote: “Rest in Peace Mr. Joe Simon. Your music will live on forever.”
Another added: “What a distinctive and unique sound that I will always associate with Backyard BBQ growing up in Chicago. RIH Bishop Joe Simon.”