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