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Ranking Roger, To Band sangist, Dies at 56



Rank Roger, the vocalist of the popular British band Beat in the late 1970s and early 80s, leading to the group's infectious sound in subsequent bands and solo projects, died Tuesday in Birmingham, England. He was 56 years old.

An announcement on his current group's website said he had received a cancer diagnosis last year.

Rank Roger, whose real name was Roger Charlery, was one of two front men to Beat along with Dave Wakeling. Known as the English beat in the United States to avoid confusion with a California Power-Pop band of the same name, the group had a short but influential race after its founding in 1

978 and expanded on the sound of a lively precursor to reggae who first migrated to England from Jamaica in the 1960s.

"Will be their base", The Boston Globe wrote about Beat in 1981 ", but it is infused with satisfactory pressure-like tension and cut with reggae, pop and soul elements." Neil Strauss, looking back at the group's heyday in a article in The New York Times in 1995, described Beat's sound as "Jamaican must be informed by punk rock".

Mr. Charlery, who was black, and Wakeling, who was white, complemented each other: Wakeling was a more traditional singer while Mr. Charlery "shook" the Jamaican version of rapping.

Beat's most famous songs include a bitch from 1979 on "1950s Tears of a Clown", a hit for Smokey Robinson and Miracles and "Mirror in the Bathroom", their biggest hit that reached no. 4 in Britain in 1980.

Some of Beats songs had a political edge, especially "Stand Down Margaret", a criticism of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her conservative party policies. "I said I see no joy, I see only grief," the two vocalists sang. "I see no chance of your bright new morning. Then stop Margaret."

But in a 1988 interview with The Globe (Mrs Thatcher was still prime minister and would remain in operation until 1990), Mr. Charlery some disillusionment over the power of music.

"I sang" Stand Down Margaret for five years and no one listened, "he said. "She came in and she came in again, and she'll come in again. It shows that blind people are. Basically, I don't think people are ever listening."

After Beat struck in 1983, Mr. Charlery and Mr. Wakeling a new group, General Public. It broke up three years later, but the two men came together again for some shows in 1995.

"Goodbye, Rog," Mr. Wakeling published on Facebook. "Thank you for all the wonderful years and wonderful memories."

Mr. Charlery was born on February 21, 1963 in Birmingham to Jean Baptiste and Anne Marie Charlery, who were from St. Lucia in the Caribbean. He grew up in Birmingham and near Stechford and attended the Tile Cross Academy.

"My parents expected me to enter a factory," he told Birmingham Mail in 2016, when he released a new album, "Bounce" as Beat Med Rankings Roger. "I didn't see it. I wanted to be a mechanic or carpenter if anything."

His parents were destined to be disappointed.

"Mum, Anne Marie, cried when I was on" Top of the Pops, "he said, referring to the British television show" and I knew I had done something right. "

The Beat became Partially frustrated with the Conservative tour of England's policy.

"To the English Beat", wrote Robert Palmer not separate issues; they are interconnected. "

" Anyone who wants to understand more about the attitudes behind Britain's inner city rebellion, "he added," it would be good to start here. "

Mr. Charlery surrendered by his partner, Pauline and five children.

In recent years, Mr. Charlery, alone and with various named groups, among them included Special Beat. (Mr. Wakeling had his own Beat-related group .) His latest album, "Public Confidential", again as Beat Featuring Ranking Roger, was released this year.

Another incarnation in 2007 was New English Beat, which included Ranking Junior, his son. Post of England that year, Mr Charlery talked about why he thought his music seemed to have a generational and cross-association.

"When Beat was originally going around" said, "our audience was so mixed – black, white and Indian, young and older heads. It was brilliant and I think we have achieved it today. It's a bit different, of course, but it's a very friendly crowd and everyone goes on to sweat and delight, and I tell myself that this is the most I could ask for. "


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