Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Percy Sledge dies at 73 - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Percy Sledge dies at 73

(Source: Gene Pugh/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons) (Source: Gene Pugh/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons)
White ribbon on historic marker (Source: WAFF) White ribbon on historic marker (Source: WAFF)
Wreath on Second St. in Florence (Source: WAFF) Wreath on Second St. in Florence (Source: WAFF)
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According to longtime friend and Muscle Shoals musician David Johnson, Percy Sledge died at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning at his home in Baton Rouge.

He was under hospice care and died after his battle with liver cancer at age 73, according to the East Baton Rouge coroner.

Sledge was an American Rhythm and Blues and Soul performer and an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

He was best known for his song When a Man Loves a Woman. It was his first single produced in Sheffield in 1966 by Atlantic Records. There is a historic marker commemorating the site where it was recorded.

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the song was inspired by a real-life situation, but he gave writing credit to his band mates, who helped with the chords and management.

Some of his other songs include: Warm and Tender Soul and Take Time and Know Her.

Sledge began his career in the 1960s with the group the Esquires Combo. He received the first Career Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1989 and remained an in-demand performer in the U.S. and Europe.

Muscle Shoals legends teamed up to support Sledge in his battle against cancer in 2014. Performers like Eddie Floyd, Gary Baker, Travis Wammack, and The Decoys joined together for a benefit concert to give back what Sledge gave to the Shoals area.

Sledge's musical career was at the center of many conversations in the Shoals area on Tuesday after he passed on Tuesday. As they talked about him, they talked about his gentle spirit and million dollar smile.

Someone tied a white ribbon around his historical marker in Sheffield, where he was last seen in the Shoals area at an appearance in September 2014 for the dedication of the marker to the recording and success of his first and most famous song.

Sledge was born in Leighton, Ala. on Nov. 25, 1941.

You can read more about Sledge and his career here.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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