COVENTRY’S legendary 2-Tone musicians have led tributes to The Beat’s Roger Charlery, also known as Ranking Roger, who has died aged 56.
The star, one of the pioneering musicians to sign up to the Coventry-based 2-Tone label, died peacefully at home on Tuesday (March 26).
Roger was battling ill-health towards the end of his life after he was diagnosed with cancerous brain and lung tumours, and also suffered a stroke last summer.
The Selecter lead singer and the city’s own Pauline Black quoted Shakespeare’s Hamlet in tribute to her friend.
She Tweeted: “RIP Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger.
“Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.
The Specials vocalist Neville Staple posted on social media: “I’m devastated to lose Roger, my Special Beat partner!
“Christine and I have been privately visiting him and his family, at every opportunity over the last two weeks, willing him the strength to recover again.
“Sadly the fight of the lion’s fire has gone out. My whole band and I are so saddened and I will miss Turbo so badly.
“Rest up Turbo (personal name we had for each other, or Double Turbo when we performed together).”
The Beat’s official website stated: “He fought and fought and 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!”
Comedian Lenny Henry tweeted: “Way too young. What a great bloke. Appeared on Tiswas and OTT with The Beat. Lovely, lovely man. What a shame. Love and unity is the only way…”
World famous reggae group UB40 also paid tribute on Twitter: “R.I.P Ranking Roger. Big Love, UB40.”
The Birmingham-born reggae icon was central to the 2-Tone movement, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
The Beat’s top chart hits included ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’ and ‘Hands of She’s Mine’ which broke into the top 10, and their ‘Stand Down Margaret’ song made a political statement for the era and beyond.
He featured with other legendary bands once The Beat broke up in 1983, such as Coventry’s The Specials, while he also formed group General Public.
Over more than a decade, he played regularly with the latest incarnation of The Beat – with his son – at venues throughout Coventry and Warwickshire, including The Godiva Festival.