The Beat singer Roger Charlery dies aged 56
Singer Roger Charlery, known as Ranking Roger, has died at the age of 56.
Charlery, who was a member of bands The Beat and General Public, died on Tuesday surrounded by his family, according to a statement on The Beat’s website.
The Birmingham-born singer suffered a stroke last summer and was diagnosed with two brain tumours and lung cancer in recent months, according to reports.
The Beat’s statement said: “He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter.
“Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family.
“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 emerged from the Midlands as ska revival pioneers in the late 1970s and Charlery was one of the band’s vocalists, along with Dave Wakeling and others.
The group released three albums in the early 1980s, with Charlery providing a distinctive vocal style influenced by a Jamaican rap technique called toasting.
After The Beat broke up in 1983, the pair formed General Public.
General Public broke up soon after the release of an album in 1986 and Charlery released his first solo album two years later.
During a career of nearly 40 years, Charlery also played with bands including The Specials and Dexys Midnight Runners.
The Beat reformed in 2005 and he led them on tours in Europe while also devoting time to solo projects.
Despite his increasing health problems, he continued working until recently, releasing an album Public Confidential in January and also wrote a memoir.
Among those who offered tributes to Charlery was musician and activist Billy Bragg, who said: “Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy”.
The social media account for the reggae group UB40 posted: “RIP Ranking Roger, Big Love UB40.”
Pauline Black, who fronted the two-tone revival band the Selector, wrote on social media, using a short excerpt form Hamlet: “Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.