The enigmatic lead singer of the Ska group The Beat (AKA The English Beat) Ranking Roger, real name Roger Charlery, has sadly died at 56. The singer and activist was a key member of the Ska and Two-Tone scene which encapsulated and united a generation.
The sad loss was announced via The Beat’s Facebook post. which read “Roger’s family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time. More to follow in the coming days,” .
A founding member of The Beat in 1978, Roger recorded and sang on The Beat’s studio albums until their split in 1983. Ranking and Dave Wakeling went on to form General Public until their split which saw Wakeling the English Beat Dave Wakeling, and Roger with the Beat featuring Ranking Roger. The pair made up recently and performed together before Roger’s death.
Huge hits like ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’ and ‘Tears of a Clown’ still ring as true today as they did when first released. Having joined The Beat as teenager Ranking became a focal point of the Two-Tone movement alongside The Specials, Selecter countless others to reignite a unity of youth who refused to be defined by their race.
His undoubted influence will never be forgotten. RIP Ranking Roger.