Bette Midler has paid tribute to the late Percy Sledge insisting the singer will ''live forever'' through his music.

The 69-year-old singer-and-actress is among a host of stars to publicly pay their respects to the soul legend - who passed away at his Louisiana home aged 74 on Tuesday (14.04.15).

Taking to Twitter to express her sadness, Bette wrote: ''The great Percy Sledge died today. I am bereft. His song ''When A Man Loves A Woman'' ... will live forever. (sic)''

'Young Hearts Run Free' hitmaker Candi Staton also took to the social networking site to express her grief, tweeting: ''So sad to learn of the passing of #percysledge. His voice and his songs will resonate with generations to come. (sic)''

Taking to his Twitter account, blues legend Taj Mahal ‏wrote: ''Sad news today ... go in peace my friend. Sending our love to family and friends.''

Funk singer Bootsy Collins logged into his Facebook account to pay tribute to Percy, posting: ''Just lost another legend funkateers, Mr Percy Sledge (sic)''

Percy rose to fame when his song 'When A Man Loves A Woman' hit the top of the US Billboard charts in 1966.

The track became a hit twice in the UK, reaching number four in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at number two in 1987 when it was featured in a Levi's Jeans commercial.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his career achievements in 2005.