Soul singer Percy Sledge, who created an indelible impression with his performance of the 1960s classic “When a Man Loves a Woman,” has died. The AP reports that Sledge died early today in Louisiana. He was 74.
Sledge reportedly died of natural causes while in hospice care.
“A No. 1 hit in 1966, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ was Sledge’s debut single, an almost unbearably heartfelt ballad with a resonance he never approached again. Few singers could have. Its mood set by a mournful organ and dirge-like tempo, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ was for many the definitive soul ballad, a testament of blinding, all-consuming love haunted by fear and graced by overwhelming emotion,” the AP reports.
Sledge, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, did have a few follow-ups, including scoring a minor hit with “Take Time to Know Her” in 1968.
Here’s Sledge’s signature song, “When a Man Loves a Woman”: