Ranking Roger dies aged 56: The Beat singer passes away

Ranking Roger dies aged 56: The Beat singer passes away after being diagnosed with two brain tumours and treated for lung cancer

  • The singer, whose real name was Roger Charlery, passed away peacefully at home, and was surrounded by his family it was confirmed on Tuesday
  • In January it was reported he had suffered a stroke over the summer, had surgery for two brain tumours, and was also undergoing treatment for lung cancer
  • Born in Birmingham, England, the late singer joined ska revival pioneers The Beat in the late 1970s, and they made three records before breaking up in 1983
  • From the beginning the Beat set their own tempo, incorporating more reggae into their sound with band member Dave Wakeling’s politically tinged lyrics
  • Following their split, Roger and Wakeling went on to form the band General Public, until their split shortly after the release of their second album
  • Roger released a solo album in 1988 called Radical Departure, and in the years since he performed with several different incarnations of a reformed Beat 
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Ranking Roger, singer of The Beat and General Public, has tragically passed away at the age of 56 on Tuesday.

The singer, whose real name was Roger Charlery, passed away peacefully at home and was surrounded by his family, it was revealed in a statement on the group’s Twitter page.

In January it was reported that Roger had suffered a stroke over the summer, had surgery for two brain tumours, and was also undergoing treatment for lung cancer.


Ranking Roger dies aged 56: The Beat singer passed away on Tuesday after being diagnosed with two brain tumours and treated for lung cancer 

A spokesperson wrote on Instagram: ‘He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter. Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family. 

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‘Roger’s family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time. More to follow in the coming days. RIP ROGER!’.’

Born in Birmingham, England, the late singer fell in love with punk rock music at a young age, playing drums for the Nam Nam Boys.


Tragic: The singer, whose real name was Roger Charlery, passed away peacefully at home and was surrounded by his family, it was revealed in a statement on the group’s Twitter page

He joined ska revival pioneers The Beat in the late 1970s, alongside Dave Wakeling (vocals, guitar), Andy Cox (guitar), David Steele (bass), Everett Morton (drums), and Saxa a.k.a. Lionel Augustus Martin (saxophone).

The band went on to make three records, I Just Can’t Stop It, Wha’ppen?, and Special Beat Service, before breaking up in 1983. 

From the beginning the Beat set their own tempo, incorporating more reggae into their sound along with lead singer Dave Wakeling’s original and politically tinged lyrics. 


Starting out: Born in Birmingham, England, the late singer joined ska revival pioneers The Beat in the late 1970s, alongside Dave Wakeling, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Morton, and Saxa

Roger was a combination toaster and hypeman, dancing energetically across the stage, playing percussion and pumping up the crowd along with his widely imitated toast/raps during the songs. 

Following their split, Roger and Wakeling went on to form the band General Public with keyboardist Mickey Billingham, guitarist Mick Jones (The Clash), bassist Horace Panter and drummer Stoker.

Together, they formed a supergroup with its members from the UK’s punk, ska, and mod scenes and released 1984’s All The Rage, and the album Hand To Mouth in 1986.


Standing out: From the beginning the Beat set their own tempo, incorporating more reggae into their sound along with lead singer Dave Wakeling’s original and politically tinged lyrics

General Public broke up in shortly after the release of their second album, but later reformed with Roger, Wakeling and a new support band in 1995, when they released the album Rub It Better.

Roger released a solo album in 1988 called Radical Departure, and in the years since he performed with several different incarnations of a reformed Beat, incorporating various members of the 2 Tone extended family. The Beat’s most recent album, 2016’s Bounce, was their first in 30 years.

‘I’m devastated to lose Roger, my Special Beat partner!,’ wrote Neville Staples on Instagram, referencing his nickname for Roger, Turbo. 

‘@SugaryStaple& I have been privately visiting him & his family, at every opportunity over the last 2 of wks, willing him the strength to recover again. Sadly the fight of the lion’s fire has gone out. My whole band and I are so saddened and I will miss Turbo so badly.’


In recent years: Roger released a solo album in 1988 called Radical Departure, and in the years since has performed with different incarnations of The Beat, who released an album in 2016

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