Via the Associated Press:
Percy Sledge, who soared from part-time singer and hospital orderly to lasting fame with his aching, forlorn performance on the classic “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died Tuesday in Louisiana. He was 74. Dr. William “Beau” Clark, coroner for East Baton Rouge Parish, confirmed to The Associated Press that Sledge died early Tuesday morning, about an hour after midnight, of natural causes in hospice care. A No. 1 hit in 1966, “When a Man Loves a Woman” was Sledge’s debut single, an almost unbearably heartfelt ballad with a resonance he never approached again. Few singers could have. Its mood set by a mournful organ and dirge-like tempo, “When a Man Loves a Woman” was for many the definitive soul ballad, a testament of blinding, all-consuming love haunted by fear and graced by overwhelming emotion.
Sledge was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2005 alongside U2, Pretenders, Buddy Guy, and The O’Jays.