Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and R&B great, Percy Sledge died yesterday (April 14th) from cancer at age 74 in his Baton Rouge, Louisiana home, according to ABC News. Sledge, who topped the charts with his signature song, the two-week 1966 chart-topper, “When A Man Loves A Woman,” went on to score four more Top 40 hits — 1966’s “Warm And Tender Love” (#17) and “It Tears Me Up” (#20); 1967’s “Love Me Tender (#40); and 1968’s “Take Time To Know Her” (#11).
Over the years, “When A Man Loves A Woman” has never strayed from the public’s consciousness, having been covered in 1980 by Bette Midler and featured in The Rose, Sledge’s version was played during a key scene in 1983’s The Big Chill, and crooner Michael Bolton returned the tune to Number One with his 1991 cover.
In 2005, Sledge, who continued to tour throughout the years, was inducted by Rod Stewart into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
At the induction ceremony held at Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria, Rod Stewart gave a brief but very colorful induction speech saluting Sledge: “I can’t imagine what I could say to tell you anything more about the brilliant Percy Sledge other than what you’ve just seen. ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ is one of the best performances I’ve ever heard and I’m sure you’ve ever heard. And he sings that song with great gusto. Is anything possible when that man sings? It certainly is. I’m honored and humbled to have the great pleasure to induct the amazing Percy Sledge into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Flame — ‘Flame?’ What the f*** am I talking about? Percy, come up here, mate! He’s wearin’ a great suit, Percy Sledge!”