A Rockapaedia Obituary

Percy Sledge

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Percy Sledge died aged seventy-four of liver canphoto of Percy Sledgecer at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A. on 14th April 2015. His interment was in Baton Rouge's Heavenly Gates Cemetery.
Percy Sledge married twice and was survived by his second wife, Rosa Sledge, whom he married in 1980. They had twelve children, three which became singers.

Percy Sledge was born on 25th November 1940, in Leighton, Alabama, U.S.A. He worked in a series of agricultural jobs in the fields in Leighton before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient and mutual friend of Percy Sledge and record producer Quin Ivy introduced the two. An audition followed, and Percy Sledge was signed to a recording contract.

Percy Sledge's soulful voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called "emotional classics for romantics of all ages". "When a Man Loves a Woman" was Percy Sledge's first song recorded under the contract, and was released in March 1966. According to Percy Sledge, the inspiration for the song came when his girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965, and, because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped him with the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them. It reached number 1 in the U.S.A. and went on to become an international hit. When a Man Loves a Woman" was a hit twice in the UK, reaching number 4 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at number 2 in 1987. The song was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The soul anthem became the cornerstone of Percy Sledge's career, and was followed by "Warm and Tender Love", "It Tears Me Up", "Take Time to Know Her", "Love Me Tender", and "Cover Me". image of Percy Sledge
Percy Sledge charted with "I'll Be Your Everything" and "Sunshine" during the 1970s, and became an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, and on the African continent; he averaged 100 concerts a year in South Africa.
Percy Sledge's career enjoyed a renaissance in the 1980s when "When a Man Loves a Woman" re-entered the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 2, after being used in a Levi's commercial. In the early 1990s, Michael Bolton brought "When a Man Loves a Woman" back into the limelight again on his hit album Time, Love, & Tenderness.

In 1994, Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg produced Percy Sledge's album, Blue Night, for Philippe Le Bras' Sky Ranch label and Virgin Records. It featured Bobby Womack, Steve Cropper, and Mick Taylor among others. Blue Night received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal or Instrumental, and in 1996 it won the W.C. Handy Award for best soul or blues album.

In 2004, Davis and Goldberg also produced the Shining Through the Rain album, which preceded his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Songs on the CD were written by Mikael Rickfors, Steve Earle, the Bee Gees, Carla Olson, Denny Freeman, Allan Clarke and Jackie Lomax. The same year Percy recorded a live album with his band Sunset Drive entitled Percy Sledge and Sunset Drive – Live in Virginia on WRM Records produced by Warren Rodgers.

In May 2007, Percy was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in his home city of Baton Rouge, LA.
In 2011 Percy Sledge toured with Sir Cliff Richard during his Soulicious tour.
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song:'When a Man Loves a Woman' by Percy Sledge