Country and pop singer Billie Joe Royal has reportedly died at age 73. According to local news reports, Royal passed away in his sleep on Tuesday at his home in Marietta, North Carolina. Royal's passing has been confirmed by his tour partner Ronnie McDowell.

In the sixties, Royal was signed to Columbia Records where he released hits like "Down in the Boondocks", "I Knew You When" and "Cherry Hill Park", which was his last hit in the Top-40 charts, according to Billboard magazine.

After getting a brief taste of success in the sixties, Royal reportedly moved through multiple smaller labels before settling down with Atlantic Records in Nashville. He experienced career success once again when he re-emerged as a country singer with 1985 track "Burned Like a Rocket" and he followed it up with 14 singles, which all entered the US country charts.

His most popular song, a cover of Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is", reached the number two slot in 1989. Royal toured extensively, and released his last record, titled His First Gospel Album, in 2009. Royal appeared in the 2013 western Billy the Kid.

The singer was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1988. His cause of death has not been released.