James Joseph Croce (; January 10, 1943 – September 20, 1973) was an American folk and rock singer-songwriter. Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released five studio albums and numerous singles. He was killed, along with five others, in a plane crash on September 20, 1973, at the height of his popularity.
His first two albums were commercial flops, failing to chart or produce any hit singles, and he took a series of odd jobs to pay bills while continuing to write, record, and play gigs. After starting 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 followup album, Life and Times contained the song "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", which was the only No. 1 hit he had during his lifetime. The day before the lead single to his fourth album, I Got a Name, was released, Croce and Muehleisen were killed. His music continued to chart throughout the 1970s following his death. His wife, Ingrid Croce, was his early songwriting partner and she continued to write and record after his death, and his son A. J. Croce himself became a singer-songwriter in the 1990s.