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Teddy Pendergrass

An American R&B/soul singer and songwriter.

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The death of a Soul and R & B great.

  • Jan 14, 2010
  • by
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.
The death of a Soul and R & B great.

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January 14, 2010
Nice run through of Teddy Pendergrass' history, and tribute. Thanks so much for sharing, Captain.
January 14, 2010
My Dad used to listen to Teddy Pendergrass when I was a kid so I heard all of his late 70's and early 80's music along with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. He's also inspirational for overcoming his disabilities and continued to performer. He's also immortalized by Eddie Murphy in his concert film "Delirious".
January 14, 2010
Thanks so much for this review- I had woken up to the news and didn't believe it until Devora sent me your link! I'm so saddened by this news...RIP to one of the greats.
January 14, 2010
Teddy had some smooth lyrics to go with his voice. His R & B songs are up there with Barry White.
January 15, 2010
Definitely...."You can do it, anything you want/ You can do it if you try/ You can make the world a better place/ Don't try to hide..."
January 14, 2010
Thanks for letting us know about this. I had no idea. Teddy had a marvelous voice. I especially enjoyed his work with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in the early 1970's. His dulcet tones will be greatly missed.
January 14, 2010
Welcome, Teddy was a great performer who had a remarkably strong voice who overcame his handicap to continue to record music. He will be missed.
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Quick Tip by . January 14, 2010
RIP Teddy P! You will be greatly missed...just another love TKO...
About the reviewer
Joseph Ulibas ()
Ranked #5
I have been working on my web series Fine Feather Friends.
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About this musician


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.
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Genre: Soul
Debut: 1970
Country: USA
Birth Date: May 26, 1950
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Gender: Male
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