PERCY Sledge has died aged 73.
The singer passed away at his Louisiana home, according to long-time friend David Johnson.
The R&B legend - who was born in Leighton, Alabama - rose to fame when his song 'When A Man Loves A Woman' hit the top of the US Billboard charts in 1966.
His album, 'Blue Night' won a 1996 Blues Music Award and was nominated for a Grammy. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
'When A Man Loves A Woman' was a hit twice in the UK, reaching number four in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at number two in 1987 when it featured in a Levi's Jeans commercial.
The song's inspiration came when Percy's girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965.
Percy claimed he knew the melody for the song his entire life, once saying: "I hummed it all my life, even when I was picking and chopping cotton in the fields."
Because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped Percy pen the final version of the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them.
Percy's hit was followed by 'Warm and Tender Love', 'It Tears Me Up', 'Take Time to Know Her', 'Love Me Tender' and 'Cover Me'.
Thursday will mark the 49th anniversary of the release of his seminal hit 'When A Man Loves A Woman', which enjoyed success again in 1991 when crooner Michael Bolton took it back to the top of the charts.
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