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.”