The English Beat's Ranking Roger Dies at 56

Ranking Roger of The Beat
Ollie Millington/Redferns

Ranking Roger of The Beat performing on stage on the second day of Guilfest at Stoke Park on July 11, 2009 in Stoke Poges, England.

The English Beat and General Public vocalist Ranking Roger --real name Roger Charlery-- has passed away at the age of 56 after a battle with cancer.

The pioneering 2 Tone band confirmed the news on social media Tuesday (March 26), writing "'He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter.' Sadly, Roger past [sic] away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family. 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!"

Roger announced his diagnosis back in January, revealing that cancer had been discovered in his brain and in his lungs after he suffered a stroke last summer.

He began his career drumming for the Nam Nam Boys before joining The Beat (known as The English Beat in North America) for their three albums, 1980's classic I Just Can't Stop It, 1981's Wha'ppen? and 1982's Special Beat Service. After the band's breakup in 1983, Roger and Dave Wakeling went on to form General Public with members of Dexys Midnight Runners and The Specials.

Roger recently finished writing his autobiography, I Just Can't Stop It, which is slated to be released later this year.

Tributes from artists like Billy Bragg, UB40 and The Selecter have begun pouring in on Twitter. See those below.