Teddy Pendergrass

Singer Theodore "Teddy" Pendergrass used his forceful baritone to propel Melvin & the Blue Notes to stardom in the early 1970s.  Pendergrass stamped the group's songs with an emotional appeal that yielded instant hits such as "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and "Wake Up Everybody."  Pendergrass charged into a solo career with the success of his 1977 self-titled disc.  He followed up his debut with more successes, including Teddy (1979), which boasted the popular "Turn Off the Lights."  In 1982, Pendergrass was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed.  In 2010, he succumbed to respiratory failure at 59.

(Photo: Retna UK /Landov)

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