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“PERCY SLEDGE HAD A SOFT SPOT FOR JAMAICA” SAYS HIS MANAGER!

By Howard Campbell—

 Percy Sledge performing at the Reggae-R&B Concert held at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium on the grounds of Jamaica College in St Andrew, in March 2014. (Photo: Rory Daley)—

American soul singer Percy Sledge, who died last week at age 74 in Louisiana, had a soft spot for Jamaica and performed in the country several times.

His manager, Mark Lyman, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that Sledge’s appearance at the Reggae-R&B Concert in Kingston in March 2014 was among his last performances.

“It was the first of three performances he did in a three-week period before he stopped touring due to his illness,” said Lyman.

Sledge died from natural causes. He had battled cancer for several years.

Lyman, who managed his career for 24 years, said the singer consistently toured the United States, Canada and Europe until the beginning of 2014.

He added that Sledge never tired of playing Jamaica. He first performed here during the 1960s when his career was at its peak.

“His Jamaican and Caribbean fans held a very special place in his heart and was one of his favourite places to perform,” Lyman said.

Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge

The Alabama-born Sledge was a giant of the soul movement that rose out of the US South at the height of the Civil Rights movement in that country.

When a Man Loves a Woman was his signature song. In Jamaica, Cover Me, Take Time to Know Her and Out Left Field made him a longtime favourite.

Singer Tinga Stewart and deejay Ninjaman combined for big hit songs in the late 1980s with dancehall versions of Cover Me and Take Time to Know Her.

The funeral service for Percy Sledge takes place today in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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