Billy Joe Royal (born April 3, 1942, Valdosta, Georgia, United States) is an American singer.
Born in Valdosta and raised in Marietta, Royal became a local star at Savannah, Georgia's Bamboo Ranch in the 1950s and 1960s. He is best known for the 1965 US Top 10 pop hit "Down in the Boondocks," which, along with the singles "I Knew You When" (Top 20, 1965) and "Hush" (1967), were written and produced by Joe South. His 1969 single, "Cherry Hill Park," peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.In the 1970s his recording of "Heart's Desire" gained popularity for Northern soul enthusiasts and was regularly played in Northern soul nightclubs.
During the 1980s, Royal scored a comeback with several Top 10 country hits, including "Tell It Like It Is," "Burned Like a Rocket," and "I'll Pin a Note on Your Pillow."
When his rejuvenated career as a country music hitmaker quieted down, he followed up with bookings throughout the 1990s in large country music bars and became a successful act on that circuit.
Recently he has had roles in independent films such as Glass Bullets for Broken Hearts co starring country singer Cody McCarver.