Percy Sledge, ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ Hitmaker, Dies At 74

By Maria Slither - 15 Apr '15 10:32AM

Soul singer, Percy Sledge, whose fame rose in heights with his hit single "When A Man Loves A Woman, dies at 74 due to a natural death.

A report from New York Times said that his death was prompted by liver cancer as announced by his agent and manager Mark Lyman.

Sometimes, called as the King of Slow Soul, Mr. Sledge is said to have humble beginnings working as a cotton picker and as a hospital orderly while performing at clubs and colleges on weekends. He is one of the first soul stars from the South.

The soul singer, once said that he performs all music genres available that time.

In an interview, he said, "I was singing every style of music: the Beatles, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Motown, Sam Cooke, the Platters."

According to CNN said that When A Man Loves A Woman is Sledge's biggest hit. It is originally named as "Why Did You Leave Me Baby and is dedicated to a former girlfriend.

In an interview with the Rock Hall of Fame, Sledge said that tune of the hit single is very familiar to him, he had sang it since he was a kid.

"I hummed it all my life, even when I was picking and chopping cotton in the fields," the singer once said.

The song was officially recorded in February 17, 1966, in Sheffield, Alabama with Mr. Sledge giving the song ownership credits to Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright.

It hit the Number One spot in the charts on May 28, 1966 which made it as a 'love hymn', a term coined by Producer Jerry Wexler.

Later on, Sledge have regrets on giving the song credits to Lewis and Wright as they have enjoyed receiving more royalties than him.

"Worst decision I ever made. But I am not at all bitter. I figure if God wanted me to do what I did, and say what I did to tell those guys they could have the song, then I'll leave it that away," Sledge told Blues and Soul magazine.

 The hit single has earned the ballad singer's successful touring career in the next years as he performs around the US, Europe and South Africa. As recorded, Sledge has an average of 100 performances a year, BBC reports.

His other hit singles are Warm and Tender Love, It Tears Me Up and Take Time to Know Her.

Meanwhile, musician-producer David Gest, who had worked with Percy Sledge in the past expressed his condolences to the artist's passing.

"I am so saddened by the death of my good friend Percy Sledge. I was fortunate enough to have him perform on three of my legends of soul tours and he was absolutely amazing to watch, be it singing When A Man Loves A Woman or Dark End Of The Street."

"Percy was one of the great performers and a man that knew the true meaning of the word 'soul'. Sleep well my friend, Gest told BBC.

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