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Percy Sledge Dies at 73

Percy Sledge
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Singer Percy Sledge, who shot to fame after releasing his debut single, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” in 1966, has died at the age of 73.

Sledge lost his longtime battle with cancer, according to his agent Steve Green who broke the sad news to ABC earlier today (April 14).

A former hospital orderly, Sledge found success when he released “When a Man Loves a Woman,” which has been covered numerous times by artists such as Bette Midler and Michael Bolton.

While signed to Atlantic Records, the crooner also created other hits including “It Tears Me Up,” “Warm and Tender Love,” “Take Time to Know Her” and “Out of Left Field.” In addition, Sledge received a Grammy nomination for his album, Blue Night, with Bobby Womack in 1994.

For Sledge, “When a Man Loves A Woman” was his biggest musical achievement. The song’s subject matter is based on a true story and he had the melody in his head since he was 10 years old, he revealed.

“When I was 25, I was in love with a girl I met on a blind date, which is what made me write this song from that melody I had as a child,” explained Sledge in an interview with Blue & Soul magazine.

“She left me for another guy, and I expressed myself in that song. How could she do me like this? I’d give her my last dime. Sleep out in the rain. All she had to do was be next to me. All of my songs are the answer to that song. The boss of all my songs. I have great respect for that song. Always will,” he added.

There’s no doubt that Percy Sledge will be missed and is mark on R&B won’t be forgotten. The Boombox sends our condolences to his family and friends.

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