The Beat’s Ranking Roger dead at 56

Ranking Roger (Image credit: Lorne Thomson/Redferns - Getty)

Vocalist Roger Charlery – aka Ranking Roger – has died at the age of 56.

He was best known for his work with The Beat, who confirmed his death in a statement on social media.

They say: “He fought and fought and fought – Roger was a fighter.

“Sadly, Roger passed 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!”

No cause of death has been disclosed, but Charlery suffered a stroke last year and had reportedly been diagnosed with two brain tumours and had been battling lung cancer.

With The Beat, Charlery was part of the influential two-tone movement, with the band enjoying success in the 80s with the single Mirror In The Bathroom and the albums I Just Can’t Stop It, Wha’ppen and Special Beat Service.

They toured with artists including The Clash, Talking Heads, The Police and R.E.M.

Following The Beat’s split in 1983, Charlery formed General Public with members of The Specials and Denys Midnight Runners, releasing the albums All The Rage in 1984 and 1986’s Hand To Mouth.

They reunited in 1995 and subsequently launched Rub It Better, while Charlery was also part of The Beat’s reunion in 2004. The Beat featuring Ranking Roger released the album Public Confidential in January this year.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Charlery had completed work on his biography titled I Just Can’t Stop. It’s expected to be released later this year by Omnibus Press.

Billy Bragg was one of the first to pay tribute to the vocalist, saying: “Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy.”

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.