Roger Charlery, otherwise known as Ranking Roger, passed away on Tuesday (26 March).
He was 56. A statement on The Beat’s website confirms that the singer died “peacefully at his home surrounded by family”. It states: “He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter.”
“Roger’s family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time. More to follow in the coming days. RIP ROGER!”
— The Beat (@TheBeat) March 26, 2019
Charlery had reportedly suffered a stroke last year, and had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and two brain tumours. Earlier this month, the band announced that, although Charlery had been dealing with “health challenges”, he had completed his biography, which is due out this year.
While Roger has been dealing with his health challenges, he has still found time to finish his biography with his co-writer, Daniel Rachel, and thus he is very proud to announce that it will be published by Omnibus Press this spring or early summer (exact date TBA) pic.twitter.com/nlpuIOFIsK
— The Beat (@TheBeat) March 15, 2019
The Birmingham-born singer founded The Beat in 1978. Fusing traditional ska music with Latin, pop, new wave and post-punk, the group went on to release six albums and became a pioneer in the two-tone genre. Their most recent LP, Public Confidential, was released in January this year. During his career, Charlery toured the world with David Bowie, The Specials, The Clash, Talking Heads and more.
Artists and collaborators have paid tribute to the singer online. Read them below.
Goodnight to a legend. R.I.P. Ranking Roger.
The Specials HQ. x pic.twitter.com/m60sfPsVTu
— thespecials (@thespecials) March 27, 2019
— UB40 (@UB40OFFICIAL) March 26, 2019
RIP Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger.
“Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. pic.twitter.com/6kVr49cJJH
— pauline black (@paulineblack) March 26, 2019
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@originalrudeboy1 @NevilleStaple on Instagram says: Me with my super friend @rankingroger & Murphy at Roger’s last ever show. I’m devastated to lose Roger, my Special Beat partner! @SugaryStaple & I have been privately visiting him & his family, at every opportunity over the last 2 of wks, willing him the strength to recover again. Sadly the fight of the lion’s fire has gone out. My whole band and I are so saddened and I will miss Turbo so badly. Rest up Turbo (personal name we had for each other, or Double Turbo when we performed together) Neville Staple
Rest In Peace Ranking Roger. An original inspiration, a rebel to the very end and an absolute gentleman always. It was an honour and privilege to share the stage and share conversations with this man. All love to the Charlery family and The Beat family. 🙏💚🔊 pic.twitter.com/iPV68nxa39
— The Skints (@theskints) March 26, 2019
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