I'm sure very few here know of him Country star Billy Joe Royal dies aged 73 after passing away unexpectedly in his sleep 0 comments 07:24, 7 Oct 2015 Updated 07:24, 7 Oct 2015 By Alistair McGeorge The Down in the Boondocks singer died in his North Carolina home on Tuesday Billy Joe Royal has passed away aged 73. The c ountry and pop music star - who had hits like Down in the Boondocks and I Knew You When - has tragically died in his sleep on Tuesday. The star passed away unexpectedly at his North Carolina home this week, his publicist confirmed to Mirror Online. WireImage Billy Joe Royal performs in honor of Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee, Paul Cochran on September 17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia He is survived by his ex-wife Michelle Royal, daughter Savannah Royal and setpsons Trey and Joey Riverbank. The singer saw success in the 1960s when he was signed to Columbia Records, with his last US Top 40 hit being Cherry Hill Park. Getty Royal was best-known for his hit Down in the Boondocks After his initial success, he continued to make music signed to a number of smaller labels before finally settling in Nashville with Atlantic Records. In the 1980s he still saw success in the US Country chart, with songs like Tell It Like It Is and Till I Can't Take It Anymore. WireImage The Georgia Music Fall of Famer returned to the ceremony in 2011 Royal was honoured by the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1988, meaning he now sits alongside stars like Ray Charles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Otis Reading and James Brown.