R&B and Soul Performer Percy Sledge Dies at 74

Soul singer Percy Sledge has died at the age of 74 years old, after losing his battle with cancer. Sledge may be most-known for his hit song “When a Man Loves a Woman.” The single sold over 500,000 copies, it reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it topped the music chart in Canada as well. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was released by Atlantic Records, and it became the label’s first Gold-certified record. Atlantic was founded in 1947, and Sledge’s record was released in 1966.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked it Number 53 on its list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was recreated by Bette Midler, Art Garfunkel, Jerry Butler, Michael Bolton, and a few country music singers. Michael Bolton’s rendition of “When a Man Loves a Woman” peaked at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Sledge once stated the song was inspired by a girlfriend who left him to pursue her modeling career. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was written by Sledge’s organist Andrew Wright and bassist Calvin Lewis. 

Sledge released numerous studio albums including Warm & Tender Soul, The Percy Sledge Way, Take Time to Know Her, I’ll Be Your Everything, and Shining Through the Rain. Two years ago, the soul singer dropped a gospel project entitled The Gospel of Percy Sledge. The soul singer’s Take Time to Know Her featured three hit singles that all reached the Billboard charts. “Take Time To Know Her” peaked at Number 11 on the charts, “Cover Me” reached Number 42, and “Sudden Stop” reached Number 68. 

Even though his name may be synomous with “When a Man Loves a Woman,” Sledge has had other songs impact the Billboard charts too. Those songs include “Warm and Tender Love,” “It Tears Me Up,” “Love Me Tender,” “Sunshine,” “I’ll Be Your Everything,” and “Any Day Now.” In 2004, Sledge was indicted into the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame. One year later, the soul singer was honored with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The singer was also indicted into the hall of fame in Alabama and Louisiana.

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