Roger Charlery, a.k.a. Ranking Roger, a key member of the ’80s ska band The English Beat and the poppier group General Public, died Tuesday at the age of 56.
The Beat, as The English Beat is known in its native Britain, announced Charlery’s death on its Facebook page:
“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! ❤️
Charlery announced in September that he’d suffered a stroke that forced him to cancel tours of the U.S. and the U.K. with his band.
While he was in the hospital, doctors discovered Charlery had two brain tumors and lung cancer, but he still planned to get back onstage, according to SlicingUpEyeBalls.com.
Born in Birmingham, England, in 1963, Charlery became a musician in his teens when he joined The Beat. He sang and rapped on the band’s three albums before leaving the group with fellow singer Dave Wakeling to start General Public, which hit the U.S. Top 40 in 1984 with “Tenderness.”
General Public released three albums between 1984 and 1995 before Charlery split with Wakeling and they each created their own version of The Beat that toured regularly.
Charlery also collaborated with other artists, including Sting and the Special Beat, a group featuring members of The Beat and The Specials.