Percy Sledge

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Percy Sledge
Percy Sledge

Describe as The "deep soul" genre with his slow, gospel-styled delivery. One of a very few links between country and soul music; A powerful vocalist and genuine performer who brings the conviction of blues to soul; created some of the most heartbreaking love songs in the history of rock and roll; and an interpretive stylist who can find soul in nearly any genre, Percy Sledge is an American R&B and soul performer. An artist whose most famous record "When a Man Loves a Woman." the one with which he is most associated, was the first he ever recorded.



Percy Sledge was born on November 25, 1940 in Leighton, Alabama. As a child he helped his family with farming chores. He was working as a hospital orderly when he began playing clubs. In the mid-'60s singer Percy was performing throughout Mississippi and Alabama as a member of the "Esquires Combo". Percy spent the years following high school working as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in nearby Sheffield. There, a former patient introduced him to local producer Quin Ivy; with the encouragement of Ivy and assistance from promoter Phil Walden, He went solo in 1966.

His career took a dramatic turn for the better in 1966, when he quit to go solo and scored a #1 pop and R&B hit with his debut single, "When a Man Loves a Woman." The classic single, which was the first soul recording to reach Number One on the pop charts, became his most successful release. The song was a hit again in 1987, sung by Top 40 singer Michael Bolton which again soared to the top of the charts.

His successes included "Warm and Tender Love" which chartered #17 on the U.S. Pop Singles Chart and #5 in the U.S. R&B Singles Chart in 1966, "Out of Left Field" which landed at #25 in the U.S. R&B Singles Chartin and "Take Time to Know Her" which peaked at #11 in the U.S. Pop Singles Chart, and #6 U.S. R&B in 1968. His success condinued in the '70s, save for a brief resurgence with the R&B hits "Sunshine" andd "I'll Be Your Everything" which chartered at #14 at the U.S R&B Singles Chart.

His success catapulted him onto a world stage. Major concert tours helped spark record sales and bring new audiences to Sledge's tunes and no-holds-barred vocal delivery.

The revival of Percy's performing career began in 1987. The use of "When a Man Loves a Woman" in the 1987 hit film Platoon sparked a big comeback for Percy. In that same year, the song was also re-released as a single overseas and reached Number Two on Billboard magazine's Hits of the World chart. He received further recognition in 1987 by performing on the NBC television program Saturday Night Live.

In 1989 Percy became the first recipient of the R&B Foundation's Career Achievement Award. He continues to perform, playing over 100 dates a year. In the early 90's, Percy signed recording contract under Poinblank label. Many years passed before his next new album, Blue Night since the early 1970s was released in 1994. A major concert tour throughout Europe was scheduled to coincide with Blue Night's release, but plans were changed when Percy pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion that summer. He was sentenced to five years' probation afer being convicted of tax evasion. In March 14, 2005, Percy is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the twentieth annual induction dinner.

Chart Toppers


Tours & Concerts

There are no current tour and concert schedules for Percy Sledge.


There are no announcements as of this time




Date Title Label
1966 When A Man Loves A Woman Phantom

Compilations & Live Releases

Date Album Label
1969 The Best of Percy Sledge Atlantic
1972 Star Collection Wea
1973 Star Collection 2 Wea
1974 Golden Voice of Soul Atlantic
1987 Greatest Hits: When A Man Loves A Woman Hollywood
1987 Percy! Charly
1987 Ultimate Collection Atlantic
1989 His Top Hits Everest
1991 20 Greatest Hits Huub
1992 Heart and Soul of Percy Sledge Castle
1993 Greatest Hits Prestige
1994 Percy Sledge Platinum Pop
1994 Percy Sledge/The Drifters/Dobie Gray Gusto
1995 Percy Sledge Collection Wesgram
1995 Greatest Hits Prime Cuts
1995 Country King
1995 Greatest Hits Excelsior
1995 Greatest Hits: When A Man Loves A Woman Excelsior
1995 When A Man Loves A Woman Excelsior
1996 The Best of Percy Sledge Curb
1997 Golden Hits Intercontinental
1997 Golden Hits Galaxy
1998 Very Best of Percy Sledge Rhino
1998 24 Greatest Hits TeeVee
1998 Sweet Soul Hits TNC
1998 Walking in The Sun Mastertone
1999 Warm & Tender Love Magnum
1999 Greatest Hits Wagram
1999 When A Man Loves A Woman Koch
2000 When A Man Loves A Woman Columbia River
2000 Golden Legends Direct Source
2000 When A Man Loves A Woman Golgr
2000 Best of Percy Sledge Mastersong
2001 Forever Gold St. Clair
2001 Love Ballads K-Box
2001 Signature Series Direct Source
2001 Star Power: Percy Sledge Direct Source
2001 The Best of Percy Sledge Direct Source
2001 All Time Greatest Hits Stardust
2001 Behind Closed Doors Town Sound
2001 Percy Sledge Platinum Disc
2001 The Soulful Sound of Percy Sledge D.V. More
2001 When A Man Loves A Woman King
2002 When A Man Loves A Woman Laserlight
2002 A Collection of 20 Hits Double Play
2002 Warm and Tender Brentwood
2002 Percy Sledge Hallmark
2002 Greatest Hits King
2002 The Essentials Warner Strategic
2003 The Best of Percy Sledge Forever Gold
2003 When A Man Loves A Woman and Other Hits Rhino Flashback
2003 A Man in Love Newsound 2000
2003 Soul Sensations Pegasus
2004 20 Best of Percy Sledge Madacy
2004 Back 2 Back Masters
2004 The Platinum Collection Direct Source
2004 Percy Sledge and Sam & Dave Platinum Disc
2004 The Best of Percy Sledge Essentials
2005 Grandes Exitos, Vol.1 Amer
2005 Grandes Exitos, Vol.2 Amer
2005 The Soul Troubadours Fuel 2000
2005 Very Best of Percy Sledge Joan
2005 Percy Sledge Direct Source
2005 Greatest Hits Zyx
2005 Simply The Best Disky
2005 The Hit Songs of Percy Sledge Curb
2006 Golden Legends:Percy Sledge Madacy
2006 Great Goldies
2006 The Collection Musicmania
2006 Golden Hits Creative Sounds
2006 Best of Percy Sledge Direct Source
2006 18 Greatest Direct Source
2006 When A Man Loves a Woman/Take Time To Know Her Direct Source
2006 Platinum Collection Platinum
2006 The Percy Sledge Way/ Take Time To Know Her DBK Works
2007 Best of Percy Sledge:Platinum Artist Series St. Clair
2007 Best of Percy Sledge MCP Et
2007 The Ultimate Performance: When A Man Loves A Woman Cleopatra
2007 Atlantic 60th Platinum Wea
2007 The Platinum Collection Warner Platinum
2007 Legendary Icons Black Label
2007 Orange Range DA

Other artists

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  • Singer/songwriter Robin Gibb wrote the lyrics to the song I've Gotta Get a Message to You, with Sledge in mind, however, Robin, and his brothers, The Bee Gees recorded the song, and rode it all the way to #1 on the U.S., and U.K. charts in 1968.
  • Lee Atwater, a Republican political strategist who worked for Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush and was Karl Rove's mentor, briefly played backup guitar for Percy Sledge during the 1960's.


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