The Beat's Ranking Roger has died at the age of 56.
Born Roger Charlery, Ranking Roger helped form The Beat in 1978, in a Birmingham dogged by high youth unemployment.
Politicised from the start, the band's fusion of punk energy and reggae was timely, rising alongside groups such as The Specials and Madness.
Standing apart from their contemporaries The Beat matched Dave Wakeling's remarkably mature songwriting to Ranking Roger's inimitable vocal style, informed by the soundsystems he grew up around.
Enjoying success in North American and Australia, internal frictions drove The Beat apart in 1983.
Ranking Roger then helped form General Public, before two different line ups of The Beat emerged.
The Beat ft. Ranking Roger released a well received studio album 'Public Confidential' in January.
News of Ranking Roger's death was confirmed on the band's official channels - here's just a small selection of tributes.
RIP Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger.— pauline black (@paulineblack) March 26, 2019
“Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. pic.twitter.com/6kVr49cJJH
Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy https://t.co/dQXifw7J9c— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) March 26, 2019
Oh, man. How unbelievably sad. https://t.co/M9AWSR7sLu— Lauren Laverne (@laurenlaverne) March 26, 2019
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