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Percy Sledge (born November 25, 1941 in Leighton, Alabama) is a US-American R&B and soul performer.
Percy Sledge worked in the fields in Leighton before he worked as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield. By the mid-1960s, Sledge was touring the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends and working at the hospital. A former patient who was a friend of producer Quin Ivy introduced the two, an audition followed, and Sledge was signed to a recording contract.
Sledge's smooth voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called "emotional classics for romantics of all ages."
"When a Man Loves a Woman" was the first song recorded under the contract (released in 1966), and it became not only an international hit (it reached #1 in the US) but was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The magnificent soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge's career and was followed by "Warm and Tender Love", "Take Time to Know Her", and "Cover Me".