The Beat vocalist Ranking Roger has died, aged 56.
The musician, real name Roger Charlery, passed away earlier today (March 26). A post on The Beat’s Facebook page confirmed his passing, adding: “He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter.
“Roger’s family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time,” the post concluded. See it below.
“He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter.” Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home…
Roger was diagnosed with two brain tumours and lung cancer following a mini stroke he suffered in August 2018.
Roger, who was born in Birmingham in 1963, was best known for his work in The Beat (known in North America as ‘The English Beat’), who released three albums during their first period together: ‘I Just Can’t Stop It’ (1980), ‘Wha’ppen?’ (1981) and ‘Special Beat Service’ (1982). Among their best-known songs are the likes of ‘Stand Down Margaret’, ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’ and ‘Drowning’.
As well as The Beat, Roger was a prominent member of General Public, who he co-fronted with The Beat’s Dave Wakeling in the mid-80s. The group released two LPs, 1984’s ‘All The Rage’ and 1986’s ‘Hand To Mouth’.
He also released a string of solo albums, kicking off in 1988 with ‘Radical Departure’. Roger, who was also renowned for his numerous live performances with Sting during his career, released his final album ‘Public Confidential’ with the latest iteration of The Beat earlier this year.
A biography about Roger’s life in music, which he co-wrote, is also set to be published later this year.
Tributes to Roger have been pouring in since the news of his passing was confirmed, with The Specials and 2 Tone Records founder Jerry Dammers hailing the late artist’s stellar contribution to music in a written statement.
Goodnight to a legend. R.I.P. Ranking Roger.
The Specials HQ. x pic.twitter.com/m60sfPsVTu
— The Specials (@thespecials) March 27, 2019
Me with my super friend @rankingroger & Murphy at Roger's last ever show.
I'm devastated to lose Roger, my Special Beat partner!… https://t.co/lEyYISUMXV
— From THE SPECIALS Neville Staple (@NevilleStaple) March 26, 2019
RIP Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger.
“Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. pic.twitter.com/6kVr49cJJH
— pauline black (@paulineblack) March 26, 2019
Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy https://t.co/dQXifw7J9c
— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) March 26, 2019
— UB40 (@UB40OFFICIAL) March 26, 2019
Rest In Peace Ranking Roger. An original inspiration, a rebel to the very end and an absolute gentleman always. It was an honour and privilege to share the stage and share conversations with this man. All love to the Charlery family and The Beat family. 🙏💚🔊 pic.twitter.com/iPV68nxa39
— The Skints (@theskints) March 26, 2019
So sad to hear about #RankingRoger. We loved the (English) Beat, and opened for them on multiple tours just so we could watch, listen, and learn. He and his mates brought a lot of joy into the world. R.I.P., Roger. #EnglishBeat
— Mike Mills 🍂🍁 (@m_millsey) March 26, 2019
Shocking news about Ranking Roger. I knew he'd been ill recently but never expected this. The Beat were a terrific band in a golden era for West Midlands music – and his toasting was a key part of it. RIP
— Adrian Goldberg (@GoldbergHome) March 26, 2019
— BirminghamMusicArch (@brummusicpics) March 26, 2019
— Jak Collier (@Jak_Collier) March 26, 2019
— Greg Proops (@GregProops) March 27, 2019
— The Beat (@TheBeat) March 26, 2019