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PERCY SLEDGE, R.I.P.

Soul Legend Gave Voice to "When a Man Loves a Woman"

Percy Sledge, the soul legend whose "When a Man Loves a Woman" is a high-water mark of romantic passion in popular music, has died at age 73 in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. His death has been attributed to natural causes, though he was in hospice care and had had surgery for liver cancer in 2014.

"When a Man" took the Alabama-bred former field worker and hospital orderly to #1 in 1966 and became an instant standard--performed at weddings, synced in movies, inspiring countless cover versions and sustaining Sledge's career ever after. Still, the singer did enjoy some other hits, including "Take Time to Know Her" and "I'll Be Your Everything."

Though he had some legal troubles in the '90s due to back taxes, Sledge was duly honored later in his life; he received the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Career Achievement Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Louisana and Alabama Music Halls of Fame. He was nominated for a Grammy in 1994 for Best Contemporary Blues Album for his Blue Night.

"When a Man Loves a Woman," though--which rose to #2 in the U.K. when it was reissued in 1987--will always be Sledge's legacy, and the power of that performance ensures that wherever love is celebrated, his voice is likely to be heard.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE HOUSE WINS
I.B. Bad handicaps the Vegas Grammys. (1/18a)
ON THE COVER:
THE LUMINEERS
The downside of BRIGHTSIDE for Wes and Jer (1/18a)
HITS LIST MAKES
THE PLAYOFFS
A bunch of All-Pros takes the field. (1/18a)
COACHELLA LINEUP: HARRY, YE, BILLIE AND THE WHOLE THING
The poster has been printed. (1/13a)
UTA: A YEAR OF MOMENTUM
Agency reshuffles the deck. (1/18a)
I DON'T WANNA WORK
I just wanna bang on my drum all day.
I HAVE A HANGOVER
I like to call it "2021."
I DON'T WANNA HAVE A MEETING
My Zoom backgrounds are all outdated.
I MISS CHRISTMAS
When's the next holiday that involves eggnog?
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