Roger Charlery, aka Ranking Roger, lead vocalist for ska band The English Beat and co-founder of General Public, died Tuesday at 56.
Social media channels for The Beat (known in the U.S. as English Beat) confirmed the news with a post.
“Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family,” The Beat website stated. “Roger’s family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time. More to follow in the coming days. RIP ROGER!”
“He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter,” the post added.
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Charlery said in a YouTube video interview posted in early 2019 that he had suffered a stroke at the end of 2018 and that doctors found two tumors in his brain that needed to be operated on immediately.
Despite his ill health, he still found time to finish his autobiography with co-writer Daniel Rachel, called “I Just Can’t Stop It: My Life in the Beat” (due out this spring).
Charlery joined The English Beat for three albums, 1980’s “I Just Can’t Stop It,” 1981’s “Wha’ppen?” and 1982’s “Special Beat Service.”
When the band broke up in 1983, Charlery and Beat band member Dave Wakeling went on to form General Public with members of Dexys Midnight Runners and The Specials, best known for hits “Tenderness” (1984) and “I’ll Take You There” (1994).
Tributes for Charlery flowed in Tuesday.
“Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy,” wrote Billy Bragg, posting a vintage video.
Film director Darren Aronofsky called Ranking Roger “a great pillar of my youth. always looked forward to the reunion tours. very sad to hear the news.”
REM’s Mike Mills tweeted, “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”
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