Percy Sledge may not even be known by name by everyone, but it is all but guaranteed that most people have heard his iconic song at some point during their lifetime.
His song “When A Man Loves A Woman” rose to the top of the charts when it was released in 1966. Much like other iconic songs of the 1960s, the soulful love song has resonated with people ever since.
Sledge passed away at the age of 73 in his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The coroner said that he died of natural causes and he was under the care of hospice shortly after midnight last night.
Percy Sledge became a household name when “When A Man Loves A Woman” was released, and since its debut, it has been used in several films and other media. The song has been featured in the films The Big Chill, The Crying Game and When a Man Loves a Woman.
The song has been a favorite to perform at weddings as well, and he even performed the song himself at the wedding for Steven Van Zandt and his wife Maureen Van Zandt.
He was born in Leighton, Alabama and was working as an orderly at a hospital just a year before his iconic song was released. He was performing at local clubs at the time, but he was soon picked up by Atlantic Records and gave the label their first gold record.
Other popular songs of Sledge’s include ”Warm and Tender Love,” “It Tears Me Up,” “Out of Left Field,” “Take Time to Know Her” and “I’ll Be Your Everything.” He was at the forefront of the music scene in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin would later record, among others.
Percy Sledge’s status as an American icon was truly marked in stone in 2005 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. He had a series of emotional soul songs that eventually earned him the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award.
Percy sledge ????
— lily (@lilyallen) April 14, 2015
We lost one of the most timeless voices today. Thankful for Percy Sledge and his music.
— Anderson East (@Andersoneast) April 14, 2015
Just lost another legend funkateers, Mr. "Percy Sledge". He was an American R&B and soul performer who most… http://t.co/2N7BfcWndD
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) April 14, 2015