Percy Sledge, 74-year-old soul singer known most for his 1966 debut hit, ”When a Man Loves a Woman,” passed away in Louisiana Tuesday morning while in hospice care, The Associated Press has confirmedSledge had undergone surgery for liver cancer in January 2014 but resumed touring shortly thereafter.

His famous ballad, which Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler has called “a transcendent moment” and “a holy love hymn,” was the first record released by Atlantic Records to become gold.

Sledge got his start in music after a patient at a hospital in Sheffield where he worked heard him singing and recommended him to record producer Quin Ivy. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.