Percy Sledge

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Percy Sledge, the man who sang the classic soul song "When a Man Loves a Woman," has passed away at age 73.

His representatives at Artists International Management confirmed to the tragic news to E! News but shared no other details.

The coroner in East Baton Rouge, however, said that Sledge died of natural causes in his home in Baton Rouge, La., while under hospice care shortly after midnight last night.

Sledge was born in Leighton, Ala., and worked in a hospital as an orderly in 1965 when he started singing at local clubs with a group dubbed the Esquires.

The song that made him a household name was released by Atlantic Records the following year and skyrocketed to the top of the pop and R&B charts. In fact, the single was the first gold record for Atlantic.

According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Sledge said that the track was a combination of tunes that he had been humming to himself for years.

"I hummed it all my life, even when I was picking and chopping cotton in the fields," he revealed.

He also admitted that he improvised the words when singing at a local college party when his future producer, Quin Ivy, discovered him.

Sledge sang multiple hits over the years, in addition to "When a Man Loves a Woman," including: "Warm and Tender Love," "It Tears Me Up," and "Take Time to Know Her."

Sledge is survived by his wife and children—our thoughts are with him during this difficult time.

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