“Ranking” Roger Charlery, the English Beat’s lead singer and co-founder of General Public, passed away on March 26. He was 56-years-old.
Roger’s death was confirmed by a representative from the late singer’s band.
“[Roger Charlery] sadly passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side earlier today. Roger’s family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time. Roger was a fighter,” the English Beat said in a statement, according to TMZ.
Roger’s health problems emerged after he experienced a stroke last summer. After the stroke, the singer was told he had lung cancer as well as two brain tumors. While most media outlets currently assume Roger lost his battle with cancer, the cause of the singer’s death has not been made official yet.
“I’m devastated to lose Roger, my Special Beat partner!,” wrote Neville Staples on Instagram, who nicknamed the late singer “Turbo,” according to Variety. “@SugaryStaple & I have been privately visiting him & his family, at every opportunity over the last 2 of wks, willing him the strength to recover again. 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.”
Born in Birmingham, England, Roger surrounded himself with his love of music, attending local shows as a teenager. By becoming a fan of the local music scene, Roger discovered his love for punk rock music. Roger’s first gig was as a drummer with a band named the Dum Dum Boys. After his tenure with the Dum Dum Boys ended in the late 1970s, Roger became a part of the English Beat, according to TMZ.
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The English Beat emerged as a popular “2 Tone” ska revival band and were classified with groups such as the Specials, Madness, the Selecter, and the Bodysnatchers. Roger’s band became known for using their own style and tempo, often featuring more reggae than other 2 Tone ska bands and plenty of political reflections in their lyrics. In 1983, The English Beat broke up, so Roger and his old Beat band member, Dave Wakeling, co-founded a new group, called General Public. General Public not only included the two former members of the English Beat, but also recruited former members of both The Clash and Dexys Midnight Runners.
General Public completed a total of three albums, and the most famous song they produced was also a huge hit in the United States, 1984’s “Tenderness.”