Home Entertainment Percy Sledge dies from liver cancer aged 73

Percy Sledge dies from liver cancer aged 73

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Percy Sledge, famed for his song When a Man Loves a Woman, has died at the age of 73.

The soul singer had surgery for liver cancer in January 2014 but soon resumed touring.

Percy Sledge’s debut single When a Man Loves a Woman reached the top 10 twice in the UK and topped the Billboard chart for two weeks in 1966.

The track reached No 2 when it was re-released in the UK in 1987 after appearing in Oliver Stone’s film Platoon, and was featured in several other movies such as The Big Chill, The Crying Game and a 1994 Meg Ryan drama named after the song itself.

It was the first US No 1 recorded at Alabama’s Muscle Shoals studio, where Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones would later record.

When a Man Loves a Woman also scored a first gold disc for Atlantic Records, whose executive Jerry Wexler called the song “a transcendent moment” and “a holy love hymn”.Percy Sledge dead at 73

The song remained Percy Sledge’s biggest hit and helped sustain a long touring career in the US, Europe and South Africa, averaging 100 performances a year. His other chart successes included Warm and Tender Love, It Tears Me Up and Take Time to Know Her.

When a Man Loves a Woman found new life in 1991 when Michael Bolton’s cover of the song topped the Billboard chart.

Before his music career, Percy Sledge worked in the cotton fields around his hometown of Leighton in northwest Alabama, before taking a job as a hospital nurse in the early 1960s.

A patient heard him singing while he worked and recommended him to record producer Quin Ivy.


Percy Sledge was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and was a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

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