The Beat's Ranking Roger
Photo: Ollie Millington/Redferns
Ranking Roger Of The Beat And General Public Dies At 56
On March 26, 2019, the family of Ranking Roger shared news of his passing at age 56. Born Roger Charlery in England's Birmingham in 1963, he met and joined the Beat in the late 70s while he was performing punk and ska. With the Beat's Dave Wakeling, Roger went on to form General Public. Rogers recently disclosed he had been diagnosed with cancer but the cause of his death was not reported.
Wakeling and Roger had an unusual separate-and-together working life as Wakeling would tour under the band's North American title "the English Beat" while Roger used "the Beat feat. Ranking Roger" separately. The friends would also use General Public as well as variations on the Beat when touring together. Roger also worked extensively with reggae artist Pato Banton.
On Jan. 21 on YouTube, Roger discussed the tragedy of his cancer diagnosis. The bad news had arrived shortly after he had finished writing his soon-to-be-published autobiography, I Just Can't Stop It, with Daniel Rachel, named after the Beat's 1980 full-album debut. On Feb. 1, 2019 the Beat feat. Ranking Roger released their latest album, Public Confidential.
"We have lost a wonderfully talented artist, charismatic frontman and great friend," read an R.I.P. post at the Beat feat. Ranking Roger's website. "It has been an enormous honour and privilege for us all to have been a part of his life."