Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger—the charismatic singer from The Beat (The English Beat for those in the US) has passed away at the age of 56.
Roger suffered a stroke last summer and was reportedly diagnosed with two brain tumours and lung cancer in recent months.
His death was announced today via The Beat’s official social media and website:
— The Beat (@TheBeat) 26. März 2019
Roger was a highly active figure in the early UK punk scene, at first being associated with The Clash, before joining The Beat as a vocalist along with singer guitarist Dave Wakeling.
Roger was also the band’s “toaster” and an essential part of the band’s ska/reggae sound from 1978 to 1983.
Following the breakup of the Beat, Wakleing and Roger formed General Public which included former members of Dexys Midnight Runners, The Specials and The Clash. The new wave band scored a Top 40 hit in North America with 1984’s “Tenderness”.
Roger would later reform a new incarnation of the The Beat in 2006, branching off from Wakeling’s version of the band.
As recent as January 26th of this year, The Beat featuring Ranking Roger released their new studio album Public Confidential, which featured the single “Maniac”.
Fans and fellow artists and fans have been taking to social media this evening to express their sadness and condolences at Roger’s passing.
— UB40 (@UB40OFFICIAL) 26. März 2019
Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy https://t.co/dQXifw7J9c
— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) 26. März 2019
Ranking Roger was the heartbeat of The Beat. RIP.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) 26. März 2019