The Music of Percy Sledge

You might not recognize this American R&B and soul singer’s name right away but you might know him by his 1966 hit “When a Man Loves a Woman”.  Percy Sledge worked as a hospital orderly when he was discovered and signed to a record contract His very first single was the previously mentioned 1966 hit which let everyone hear what a fantastic and soulful voice he had. Interestingly enough the inspiration for this song came from true life when Percy Sledge’s girlfriend dumped him for a modeling career when he was laid off from a construction job. This song reached number one on the charts and became an international hit.

This was followed by “Warm and Tender Love”, “It Tears Me Up”, and “Take Time to Know Her” which also reached number one. During the 1970s Percy Sledge had hits with “I’ll be Your Everything” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

His album Blue Night in 1994 received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal, or Instrumental and won the W.C. Handy Award for best soul or blues album in 1996. Percy Sledge’s album Shining Through the Rain in 2004 got him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011 he was featured on the Cliff Richard album Soulicious and performed in the tour by the same name.


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