'When a Man Loves a Woman' Singer Dead at 73

Percy Sledge went from hospital orderly to Rock Hall of Fame
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 14, 2015 10:23 AM CDT
Percy Sledge kneels on the stage as he performs "When a Man Loves a Woman" at the Musicians Hall of Fame awards in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 28, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Newser) – Percy Sledge, who recorded the classic 1966 soul ballad "When a Man Loves a Woman," has died. He was 73. The coroner in Louisiana's East Baton Rouge Parish confirmed that Sledge died early today. Sledge's first recording took him from hospital orderly to a long touring career averaging 100 performances a year and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Between 1966 and 1968, Sledge used his forlorn, crying vocal style to record a series of Southern soul standards.

In later years, Sledge continued to be an in-demand performer in the United States and Europe as "When a Man Loves a Woman" kept popping up in movies, including The Big Chill and The Crying Game. "He was one of my first acts; he was a terrific person, and you don't find that in this business very often," a rep with Sledge's talent agency tells the BBC. "He was truly a standout."

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