The Beat shared the sad news with their 18,000 Twitter followers, saying: “RIP @RankingRoger who sadly past away peacefully at home with family by his side early today. Roger was a fighter.”(sic) A message shared by the band on Facebook also said: “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!”(sic)
The musician, real name Roger Charlery, was best known as the vocalist for the British band and, later, for forming General Public.
Earlier this year, Ranking Roger said he had been diagnosed with two brain tumours and lung cancer.
He previously suffered a stroke last summer, prompting The Beat to cancel their US and UK tour.
He told SlicingUpEyeballs.com he had taken six months off after having the tumours removed and was set to undergo two years of immunotherapy for the lung cancer.
“I know I can sing,” he told the publication January. “I don’t have a problem with that. It’s just that I don’t think I’ll be running around the state as much as I was, certainly for the first three months or six months, because I wouldn’t want a seizure on stage.
“I know I can sing still. And I know I can skank still. I’ll never forget how to do that,” he added.
The musician said he would have to see how the treatment went, but that he had “a lot of optimism”.
At the time, Ranking Roger also confirmed he had finished his biography, which will be published later this year.
Musical from an early age, he joined The Beatin the late 1970s and, after the band broke up in 1983, created General Public alongside Denys Midnight Runners’ Andy Growcott, Mickey Billingham and The Specials’ Horace Panter.
In the 1990s, Ranking Roger joined forces with members of The Specials to form Special Beat, who went on to release two live albums.
Tributes have poured in for the late star following the news of his death, with Billy Bragg writing on Twitter: “Very sorry to hear that Ranking Roger has passed away. Rest easy, Rude Boy.”
UB40 also tweeted: “RIP Ranking Roger. Big Love. UB40.”
The Skints added: “Rest In peace Ranking Roger. An original inspiration, a rebel to the very end and an absolute gentleman always.
“It was an honour and a privilege to share the stage and share the conversations with this man. All love to the Charlery family and The Beat family.”
The Specials bassist Horace said: “So sad to hear this. Sincere condolences to Angie, his children and fellow band members. Too young. #RIP Roger… good memories! Horace and Clare.”
Former Ordinary Boys star Preston wrote: “This one really hit hard, RIP Rankin Roger. I only spoke to him a week ago and he was so full of fight.
“I know he’s already skanking in heaven with that huge Rankin Roger smile.
“Blessed to have worked with you and call you a friend. I’m going to take care of mini Murphy for you,” he added.