Inductee Percy Sledge and his wife, Rose, at the 20th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City March 14, 2005
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Thursday will mark the 49th anniversary of the release of “When a Man Loves a Woman,” and Tuesday, Percy Sledge, the legendary singer who made that song famous, has died at the age of 73.

According to ABC News, Sledge died Tuesday morning at his home in Baton Rouge, La., after battling cancer for several years. Sledge skyrocketed to fame, after leaving a career as a hospital orderly, when his debut single, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” hit the Billboard 100 in 1966. Sledge’s other hits include “Warm and Tender Love,” “It Tears Me Up” and “Take Time to Know Her.”

“He was a wonderful guy in a terrible business,” said Steve Green with Artists International Management Inc. “He was truly a standout.”

During his music career, Sledge won various awards, including the Blues Music Award and a Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award. He was also inducted into the Delta Music, Louisiana Music and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.