Percy Sledge, Who Sang ‘When a Man Loves a Woman,’ Dies at 74

“…Although the song, which ranks 53rd on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest of all time, is credited to two of Mr. Sledge’s early bandmates, the bassist Calvin Lewis and the organist Andrew Wright, who assisted with the arrangement, Mr. Sledge said of the melody, “I hummed it all my life, even when I was picking and chopping cotton in the fields.”

Still, because he was not listed as a co-writer, Mr. Sledge never received royalties for “When a Man Loves a Woman” in any of its forms. “Worst decision I ever made. But I am not at all bitter,” he told Blues and Soul magazine, noting that he was only 25 at the time. “It was God’s will for me to give it to them. But if I had my time again, I wouldn’t do it. Because of my children.”

Share