Ranking Roger, of English Beat and General Public, Dies at 56

Roger Charlery, aka Ranking Roger, the singer and toaster from the English Beat, General Public and Special Beat, died today after a battle with cancer, a rep for the band confirmed to Variety. He was 56.

The group, which has existed in several different forms over the years, issued a statement on its social media accounts saying, “Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family.

Suzi Quatro on Being a Pioneering Female Rocker: “Women Have Balls!’

For Suzi Quatro, portraying intimidating rocker chick Leather Tuscadero on the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days” was art imitating life. A veteran musician who came up in the rough and tumble rock scene of 1960s Detroit, her tough-but-sexy small-screen persona wasn’t an act, and it’s served Quatro well in her pioneering role as arguably the first prominent female musicians to front a band, and rock as hard as a man. She was frequently mentioned when the Runaways released their first album in 1976, and it’s safe to say there could have been no Joan Jett without Suzi Quatro. Now 68, and with a new album — ‘No Control’ — out today, Quatro remains an icon of cool, and notes that at least partially because of her tough image, guys didn’t mess with her, and anyone who tried got shut down, hard.

‘Greatest drummer ever’ Hal Blaine dies aged 90

Hal Blaine, one of the most prolific and influential drummers of his generation, has died at the age of 90.

Over the course of his career, he played on countless hits by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys and John Lennon, amongst others.

But his most recognisable riff was the “boom-ba-boom-crack” bar that opened The Ronnettes’ Be My Baby.

On hearing of his death, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson called him “the greatest drummer ever”.