Media outlets are reporting that legendary soul singer Percy Sledge has died. Henry Hanks and Todd Leopold of CNN are reporting that Sledge, 73, died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and that the cause of death isn’t immediately available.
“In a career that started in the 1960s, Sledge had a number of hits, including ‘Take Time to Know Her,’ ‘Warm and Tender Love’ and ‘It Tears Me Up’ among them.
But his first and biggest hit, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman,’ towered over them all.
Over a mournful, slowly rising instrumental track provided by organist Spooner Oldham, drummer Roger Hawkins and guitarist Marlin Greene — key musicians of what became the Muscle Shoals sound, heard on countless soul records — Sledge crooned, pleaded and roared his way through the tune. It came directly from the heart: Originally called ‘Why Did You Leave Me Baby,’ he’d written it about a former girlfriend, drawing from a tune that he used to sing to himself as a child.
‘I hummed it all my life, even when I was picking and chopping cotton in the fields,’ the Alabama-born singer told the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Sledge was inducted into the Rock Hall in 2005. R.I.P. to a legendary crooner.
Read more at CNN.