When a man loves a woman lyrics teach us that a guy who is truly in love will do whatever it takes to make the one he loves happy. This means that he will spend his money, lose his job, turn his back on friends, and even sleep outside in the rain, just to see her smile. The only way he can know that she is worth the trouble is by loving her and giving her everything.
Percy Sledge was born in Leighton, Alabama and began his career singing with a local group called the Esquires Combo. He wrote the words to When a Man Loves a Woman along with two other members of his band and recorded it at the Muscle Shoals studios. The song was a hit and he went on to have thirteen more Top 100 hits in nine years, including the R&B classic Mustang Sally.
He died of liver cancer in Baton Rouge at the age of 73. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and given the Rhythm and Blues Pioneer Award. He was also a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
He was one of the most successful male singers of his time. His version of When a Man Loves a Woman was covered by Michael Bolton for his 1991 album Time, Love and Tenderness. His version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a gold record. It was the last song to reach number one under the old Billboard chart system before it was switched over to Nielsen SoundScan.