Soul legend Percy Sledge has passed away at the age of 74. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who was best-known for his 1966 debut single When A Man Loves A Woman, died at his home in Louisiana on Tuesday morning US time, following a battle with liver cancer.
When A Man Loves A Woman (below) was recorded by Sledge at Norala Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama. Songwriting credits were given to Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, and the true authorship of the song remains disputed, with Sledge once claiming he should have received a co-writing credit.
When A Man Loves A Woman reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the R&B singles chart, and later came in 53rd on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. It saw a revival after featuring in the 1983 film The Big Chill, and was famously covered by Michael Bolton in 1991.
Sledge, who was often called the King of Slow Soul, continued to make soul records in the late ’60s and early ’70s, with songs like Warm And Tender Love and a cover of Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender (below). His last release was the 2013 album The Gospel Of Percy Sledge.
Sledge was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, and is survived by his wife and children. Relive some of his music, below.
Listen: Percy Sledge – When A Man Loves A Woman
Listen: Percy Sledge – Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley Cover)