Famed R&B singer Percy Sledge died this morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his agent Steve Green confirmed to ABC News. He was 73.
The Alabama native, most known for his classic 1966 hit “When a Man Loves a Woman,” which reach No. 1 on the charts, died after a long battle with cancer, his agent of 35 years added.
Sledge had been singing for the past 50 years and music was released under his name all the way till 2013 with “The Gospel of Percy Sledge.”
According to Sledge’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bio, his hit “‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ topped the R&B and pop charts for multiple weeks and raised the bar for soul balladeering for all time. Yet Sledge’s career didn’t end with that momentous first single. Over the years he racked up a dozen hits at Atlantic, including ‘Warm and Tender Love,’ ‘It Tears Me Up,’ ‘Out of Left Field’ and ‘Take Time to Know Her.’”
His most-famous song was inspired by real life events. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was about “a girl who left Sledge for another guy,” his bio reads.
Sledge “was working as a hospital orderly when he began playing clubs and frat parties,” shortly before his big break.