Percy Sledge Dead at 73
One of the legends of soul music has passed away.
Percy Sledge, the iconic singer behind the legendary 1966 soul classic “When a Man Loves a Woman,” has died in Baton Rogue, Louisiana. He was 73.
The news was confirmed by East Baton Rouge Parish coroner Dr. William “Beau” Clark, who says Sledge died early Tuesday morning. No cause of death has been disclosed as of yet.
:When a Man Loves a Woman” launched Sledge’s career, as he went from hospital orderly to chart-topping singer. He was among music’s most prolific touring acts, averaging about 100 performances each year. His induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 was well-earned, if for no other reason that that, nearly fifty years later, “When a Man Loves a Woman” continues to be a staple of popular music. It speaks to the power of his songwriting talent as well, as it was one of the first songs Sledge ever wrote, under the original title “Why Did You Leave Me Baby”. He apparently wrote it about a former girlfriend, using a tune he’d been humming all his wife. The song would go on to reach the No. 1 spot on the charts on May 28, 1966, starting a long, storied life for the song.
Our condolences are with Sledge’s family and friends at this time. He was truly a music legend, and one hell of a live performer (as evidenced in the video below). He was a one of a kind talent, as there haven’t been many singers like him, before or since. He’ll certainly be missed. R.I.P.