Just days before he’s set to release a new album recorded with his version of legendary 2 Tone-era ska act The Beat, frontman Ranking Roger on Monday revealed that, after suffering a stroke last summer, he was diagnosed with two brain tumors and lung cancer.
Roger disclosed his medical issues via a nearly 9-minute video interview, which you can watch below.
In September, he’d revealed that he suffered a stroke the preceding month, and that, while he was recuperating, he was forced to cancel planned tours of the U.S. and the U.K. with his incarnation of The Beat — not to be confused with Dave Wakeling’s version.
But in the video released Monday, Roger explains that his prognosis was much more severe than the “mini stroke” that was publicly acknowledged last year. When he was hospitalized, doctors discovered he had two brain tumors — one of which needed to be removed immediately — and lung cancer. The two tumors have since been removed, but he’s now undergoing two years of immunotherapy for the lung cancer.
The former General Public member says he took six months off, as prescribed by his doctors, and is now ready to get rehearsing with his bandmates — though new tour dates have yet to be announced.
“I know I can sing. I don’t have a problem with that. It’s just that I don’t think I’ll be running around the stage 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. There’s not a problem with the voice. And I know I can skank still. I’ll never forget how to do that. But I just mustn’t get too excited and start darting across the stage again. But I think eventually I probably will be able to. We’ll just see how this treatment goes, that’s all I can say. But I’ve got a lot of optimism.”
This news comes as the Public Confidential — credited to The Beat feat. Ranking Roger — is due out Friday in the U.K. The 10-song album is a follow-up to 2016’s Bounce, and finds Roger joined by his daughter Saffren and son Ranking Junior sharing vocals and toasting duties, along with Fuzz Townshend (drums), Chiko Hamilton (sax), Andy Pearson (bass), Andy Perriss (guitar) and Bobby Bird (guitar).
Below, see the tracklist and artwork for Ranking Roger’s new album — and hear a couple songs.
The Beat feat. Ranking Roger, Public Confidential
2. “Public Confidential”
3. “Who’s Dat Looking”
4. “On the Road”
6. “Long Call, Short Talk”
7. “Giving It Up”
8. “A Good Day for Sunshine”
9. “Skank Away”
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- The Beat starring Dave Wakeling to release new album ‘Here We Go Love’ this spring
- The Beat’s Dave Wakeling records 2 songs for 2 Tone-inspired ‘Scooby-Doo’ episode
- Video: Dave Wakeling on 33 years of English Beat, learning to play guitar wrong and more
- The English Beat to release ‘Live! at the US Festival’ CD/DVD in September
- The English Beat to release new best-of, box set in U.S., expanded reissues in Europe
Do yourselves a favor and buy Bounce and Public Confidential. Both great albums that stay true to the original Beat sound. Roger, we love you man! Thinking of you!
Jesus – GOD! I don’t want to have a stroke. What are the warning signs? How do you take steps to prevent this awfulness? Didn’t Edwyn Collins have a stroke?
Sending healing thoughts.
Damn I have so much respect for him, and I’m jealous of his gorgeous voice. I hope he overcomes all of it.
We have seen The Beat numerous times the energy created by Roger is second to none. We met Roger last year & he was the nicest person you could have wish to have met.Our thoughts are with you Roger & we prey for your recovery. Keep positive & when you are back we will be there.
I love every version of The Beat- extends to Dave’s Beat as well and certainly Roger’s many guest appearances also. I’m pulling for you Roger: you keep skankin’ and we’ll do the dancing! Can’t wait for the new album to hit my mailbox ;)
Thanks for the music.He well and get better.
Top geeza, speedy recovery Roger and thanks for everything musically so far and in the future.
Copies of “I Just Can’t Stop It” and “Special Beat Service” got worn out in high school and college.
The best to you, Mr. Roger.
Roger you’re a lion. You’ve already got this beat.
Sending healing vibes, please don’t keep cars in a small cage, cats like the roam of the house;)
Sending healing vibes to u Rodge. Please don’t keep cars in a cage they like to roam the house;) x
Oh, lord, poor Roger! LOVE, LOVE LOVE his Fire Burn!
Is there anything we can do to help???!!!
Why is this always the best of the best that suffer and die?! Bob Marley? ROger now?
God, I hope to God Roger can beat his cancer shit.
Even though I don’t believe in any fucking God. I hope Roger will beat his cancer because the humanity he woke with his songs wants him to live.
Fuck God, Roger, we humans LOVE you, you’ve GOT to live for us!
Poor guy passed away today. RIP Roger.
Such sad news about the untimely death of Ranking Roger. He was a regular on the Punk scene in Birmingham many years ago & a frequent visitor when I lived in Stephenson Tower & was always good company to be with. RIP dear friend. Col.
Such a sad day – but what a legacy of positivity Roger has left us.