Michael Bolton Pays Tribute to Music Legend Percy Sledge

The original "When a Man Loves a Woman" singer died at the age of 73.

ByABC News
April 14, 2015, 11:00 AM
Percy Sledge is pictured performing at the Joy Theater on Jan. 28, 2012 in New Orleans, La.
Percy Sledge is pictured performing at the Joy Theater on Jan. 28, 2012 in New Orleans, La.
Erika Goldring/Getty Images

— -- Michael Bolton paid tribute today to Famed R&B singer Percy Sledge, who died earlier at the age of 73.

Bolton sang Sledge's song "When a Man Loves a Woman," bringing it back to the charts in 1991. Sledge originally made the song a classic in 1966.

"An inspiration as an artist & one of the most gracious human beings. We sang together. Forever grateful! Love MB," Bolton tweeted today after the news of Sledge's death broke.

Sledge died this morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his agent Steve Green confirmed to ABC News. He died after a long battle with cancer, his agent of 35 years added.

Sledge had been singing for the past 50 years and music was released under his name all the way till 2013 with "The Gospel of Percy Sledge."

According to Sledge's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bio, his hit "'When a Man Loves a Woman' topped the R&B and pop charts for multiple weeks and raised the bar for soul balladeering for all time. Yet Sledge’s career didn’t end with that momentous first single. Over the years he racked up a dozen hits at Atlantic, including 'Warm and Tender Love,' 'It Tears Me Up,' 'Out of Left Field' and 'Take Time to Know Her.'"

His most-famous song was inspired by real life events. "When a Man Loves a Woman" was about "a girl who left Sledge for another guy," his bio reads.

Sledge "was working as a hospital orderly when he began playing clubs and frat parties," shortly before his big break.

In 1989, Sledge earned the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award. In 2005, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.