Teddy Pendergrass, the powerful voiced R &B and soul singer of classic hits such as "If You Don't Know Me By Now" (with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes) and "Close the Door", "Turn Off the Lights", "Love TKO" along with two duets with Stephanie Mills (Two Hearts) and Whitney Houston (Hold Me) made him a star on the R & B charts passed away on January 13, 2010 from cancer. He was 59 years old. Teddy Pendergrass over came a crippling auto injury (that left him paralyzed from the waist down) to continue his singing career until his retirement on 2006. His career took off when he was a member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in 1970. Prior to that, he was a drummer for The Cadillacs and was a ordained minister at the age of ten.
During his time in the Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass sang lead (after being promoted from drummer due to the leaving of the band's singer) on several other hits such as "The Love I Lost, Part 1", "Bad Luck, Part 1" and "Wake Up Everybody, Part 1". Heavy friction between Harold Melvin and Teddy came to ahead causing him to leave the group in 1976 and go solo. During the late 70's and early 80's, Teddy Pendergrass had several singles chart number one on the R & B charts and a few Top 40 hits. His solo career was temporally derailed by a car accident in 1982. Despite being paralyzed from the waist down, Teddy continued his musical career, wrote an autobiography, was nominated for three Grammy Awards and several more Top 10 R & B hits. Teddy Pendergrass was a highly influential singer who trademark powerful vocals and smooth lyrics made him an R & B and Soul Music icon and his determination to overcome his physical handicap makes him truly a one-of-a-kind person.
Theodore DeReese "Teddy" Pendergrass, Sr. (March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010) was an American R&B/soul singer and songwriter. Pendergrass first rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in the 1970s before a successful solo career at the end of the decade.
Was a member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.
Overcame a crippling auto injury to continue his solo career.