Roger Charlery, known as Ranking Roger of The Beat and General Public, has died aged 56.
The Birmingham-born singer died on Tuesday at home surrounded by family, according to a statement on The Beat’s website.
It said: “He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter.
“Sadly Roger past 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!”
Charlery suffered a stroke last summer and was reportedly diagnosed with two brain tumors and lung cancer in recent months.
As part of The Beat, he spearheaded the two-tone movement with a distinctive vocal style influenced by the Jamaican rap technique of “toasting”.
Musician and activist Billy Bragg paid tribute to the musician, who played in bands with members of The Specials and Dexys Midnight Runners during his nearly 40-year career.
Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy https://t.co/dQXifw7J9c— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) March 26, 2019
He said: “Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy”
The social media account for the reggae group UB40 posted: “R.I.P Ranking Roger, Big Love UB40.”
Matt Hoy, a touring vocalist with UB40, sent his condolences to Charlery’s family.
In a post to Instagram, he wrote: “Rest in Peace Ranking Roger, such sad news!! Lovely guy… Way to young!! Condolences to his family.”
Pauline Black, who fronted the two-tone revival band the Selector, also took to social media to pay tribute.
She posted a short excerpt from Hamlet, which read: “Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.
RIP Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger.— Pauline Black OBE DL (@paulineblackOBE) March 26, 2019
“Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. pic.twitter.com/6kVr49cJJH
Despite health challenges, Charlery released an album, Public Confidential, in January and finished a memoir.