Percy Sledge American soul singer dies at 73

American R&B soul singer, Percy Sledge, has been reported dead at the age of 73 in his Baton Rouge home.

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Percy Sledge

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American soul singer, Percy Sledge, who took "When a Man Loves a Woman" to the top of the charts in 1966, died this morning (April 14) at his Baton Rouge home.  He was 73, KATC has learned.

Prior to becoming a recording artist, Sledge worked as a hospital nurse.  He caught his big break when he recorded "When a Man Loves a Woman."  Sledge took the track, his debut single, to number-one on both the Billboard Hot 100, where it spent two weeks at the summit, and on the Billboard R&B Chart, where it held the top spot for six weeks.  The song also reached the Top 10 in the United Kingdom twice--going to number-four upon its original release and reaching #2 when it was re-released in 1987.  The song found new life in the United States in 1991 when Michael Bolton's cover of "When a Man Loves a Woman" topped the Billboard Hot 100.

Thursday will mark the 49th anniversary of the release of "When a Man Loves a Woman" as a single.

His other hits included "Warm and Tender Love" (Pop #17, R&B #5), "It Tears Me Up" (Pop #20, R&B #7), and "Take Time to Know Her" (Pop #11, R&B #6).

Even after his chart success fizzled, Sledge remained a fixture in the music industry, releasing albums and touring the United States to perform live in concert.

His contributions to the music industry earned him a number of awards, including a Blues Music Award, a Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, and induction into the Delta Music, Louisiana Music, and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.

"He was a wonderful guy in a terrible business," said Steve Green with Artists International Management, Inc., the talent agency that represented Sledge.  "He was truly a standout."

Sledge is survived by his wife and children.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

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