Teddy Pendergrass, a beloved soul singer and songwriter known for his big baritone voice, died due to complications of colon cancer on Jan. 13, 2010, in Philadelphia, his hometown.
Pendergrass was born on March 26, 1950. He had his first taste of fame as the lead singer of the Philadelphia soul group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in the 1970s. Their hits include their no. 1 R&B songs "If You Don't Know Me by Now" and "Wake Up Everybody (Part 1)."
Pendergrass left the act in 1979 and launched a successful career of solo recordings that heated up the Billboard R&B charts. Some of his most popular cuts include "Close the Door," "Love T.K.O." and "Turn Off the Lights," love songs that gave him popularity among female audiences.
At the height of his career, Pendergrass was left paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident in 1982. The crooner continue to record music and released eight more albums. Pendergrass gave his last performance at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in November 2008.
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(Photo: Gilles Petard: Dalle /Landov)
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