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.
Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy https://t.co/dQXifw7J9c
— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) March 26, 2019
RIP Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger.
“Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. pic.twitter.com/BsDwzMg6FC
— The Selecter(2-Tone) (@TheSelecter) March 26, 2019
Me with my super friend @rankingroger & Murphy at Roger’s last ever show.
I’m devastated to lose Roger, my Special Beat partner!… https://t.co/lEyYISUMXV
— Neville Staple (@NevilleStaple) March 26, 2019
— UB40 (@UB40OFFICIAL) March 26, 2019