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Andre Williams, the R&B singer and songwriter who started his career in Detroit, has died at age 82. 

The Alabama native died Sunday in Chicago, according to a social media post from Pravda Records, which was shared by Williams' official page. 

Williams moved to Detroit as a young adult and signed with Fortune Records, where he had hits with the songs "Bacon Fat" and "Jail Bait" in the 1950s.

Known for wearing sharp and colorful suits and hats, Williams also co-wrote the 1963 song "Shake a Tail Feather." The tune was originally released by Chicago group the Five Du-Tones and has been covered by everyone from Ray Charles to Ike & Tina Turner to Hanson. Williams himself recorded the song for his 2012 album "Life." 

Often called "the Black Godfather," he released many albums throughout the past three decades, and often toured North America and Europe (fan messages on social media Monday morning were posted in a variety of languages). Williams recorded with modern bands, including Detroit garage rock outfit the Dirtbombs to Canadian country group the Sadies. 

In 2016 he dropped the album "I Wanna Go Back to Detroit City" on Bloodshot Records, which credits a variety of Detroit-based rock musicians as his backing band. His most recent release was 2017's "Don't Ever Give Up" on Pravda Records, which was recorded in New Orleans and released on purple vinyl. 

"He touched our lives and the lives of countless others," the label posted on social media Sunday. "We love you Dre."

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens 

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