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Ranking Roger Dead at 56

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Ranking Roger of The Beat performs at The Roundhouse on October 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

Ranking Roger, singer and toastmaster for British ska revival bands The Beat and General Public, has died after a months-long battle with brain and lung cancer. The vocalist born Roger Charlery was 56.

“He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter. Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family,” read a statement on the Beat’s Facebook. “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!”

Roger sang on The Beat’s three albums I Just Can’t Stop It, Wha’ppen, and Special Beat Service before the group disbanded in 1983. He went on to release three albums as General Public with Beat bandmate Dave Wakeling, several solo albums, and two projects this decade with a reformed Beat lineup, most recently Public Confidential in January.

Billy Bragg, UB40, and The Special’s Neville Staple, among others, posted tributes to Roger after news of his death broke. “I’m devastated to lose Roger, my Special Beat partner!” Staple said. “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.”

Read a few tributes to Roger and enjoy some of his classics below.