Ranking Roger has died at the age of 56, as confirmed by the Beat’s official social media accounts. He passed away from complications with cancer.
Earlier this year, he revealed his condition, saying that after being hospitalized with a stroke, doctors discovered two tumors on his brain, which were removed, and diagnosed him with lung cancer. “Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family,” the statement reads. “Roger’s family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time.”
Ranking Roger was born Roger Chalrery in 1963 in Birmingham, England, and rose to prominence with the two-tone band the Beat (known as the English Beat in the US), releasing three albums: 1980’s I Just Can’t Stop It, 1981’s Wha’ppen?, and 1982’s Special Beat Service.
He departed the group with his bandmate Dave Wakeling in 1983 to form General Public, who would go on to release 1984’s All The Rage and 1986’s Hand To Mouth. Roger and Wakeling eventually went their separate ways, though would reunite in the ’90s to record a new album, Rub It Better, and a popular cover of the Staples Sisters “I’ll Take You There.”
Roger released a number of solo albums through the years, and reconfigured the Beat in different forms on various occasions. The most recent revival took place this decade, in 2016, when Roger released the first new album by the Beat in 30 years, Bounce. In January of this year, the Beat released another new album, Public Confidential. He also wrote a biography, I Just Can’t Stop It, that is set for publication later this year.