was an American folk and rock singer-songwriter. Between 1966 and 1973, he released five studio albums and numerous singles. During this period, Croce took a series of odd jobs to pay bills while he continued to write, record, and perform concerts. After he formed a partnership with songwriter and guitarist Maury Muehleisen his fortunes turned in the early 1970s. His breakthrough came in 1972; his third album, You Don't Mess Around with Jim, produced three charting singles, including "Time in a Bottle", which reached No. 1 after his death. The follow-up album, Life and Times, included the song "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", which was the only No. 1 hit he had during his lifetime.
On September 20, 1973, at the height of his popularity and the day before the lead single to his fifth album, I Got a Name, was released, Croce and five others died in a plane crash. His music continued to chart throughout the 1970s following his death. Croce's wife, Ingrid Croce, was his early songwriting partner. She continued to write and record after his death and their son A. J. Croce became a singer-songwriter in the 1990s.