Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

R.I.P. Percy Sledge, singer of “When A Man Loves A Woman”

“When A Man Loves A Woman” singer Percy Sledge has died. He was 73 and had been battling cancer.

Inspired by a breakup that happened after he lost a construction job, “When A Man Loves A Woman” was Sledge’s debut single, and went to No. 1 in 1966. He went on to have a few other hits, like “Warm And Tender Love,” “It Tears Me Up,” and “Take Time To Know Her,” but none were as big as that first smash. Sledge even re-released the track in the U.K. in 1987, where it went to No. 2 on the charts. Michael Bolton’s 1991 cover of the track also went to No. 1 in the U.S.

Advertisement

Interestingly, though Sledge co-wrote “When A Man Loves A Woman,” saying he’d been singing the song since he’d been picking cotton as a child, he gave his songwriting credit to two of his buddies in the Esquires Combo who helped him with a few of the song’s chords. Thus, he never saw a penny of the songwriting royalties, a move that he told Blues And Soul magazine was the “worst decision [he] ever made.”

Sledge toured extensively throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, and was especially popular in the Netherlands, Germany, and in South Africa, where he played about 100 concerts a year. Sledge was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2005. He also received one of the first Rhythm And Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards in 1989.

Share This Story