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Ranking Roger (1963–2019), vocalist for the English Beat and General Public

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Roger and Dave Wakeling led the popular 1980s college rock bands

Ranking Roger was a vocalist for the popular 1980s college rock bands The English Beat (known as The Beat in England) and General Public. He was born Roger Charlery and became known as Ranking Roger as ranking is a term for a top MC. His signature toasting was part of the Two Tone Ska Rock sound for the English Beat, adding a counter melody for Dave Wakeling’s traditional pop singing in classics like “Stand Down Margaret.” After the English Beat broke up, Roger and Wakeling formed General Public which featured a new wave sound and also was popular in college radio. He was performing with a version of the Beat while Wakeling still tours as the English Beat.

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Died: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 (Who else died on March 26?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 56, according to a statement on The Beat website. He had a stroke in August and recently had cancer surgery.


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What they said about him: “Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy” —Billy Bragg on Twitter

“R.I.P Ranking Roger Big Love” —UB40 on Twitter

“RIP @RankingRoger who sadly past away peacefully at home with family by his
side early today. Roger was a fighter.” —The Beat Official on Twitter

Full obituary: The Guardian

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