Remembering Teddy Pendergrass

Follow the career of the soul music icon.

/content/dam/betcom/images/2012/01/Music-01-01-01-15/011312-music-teddy-pendergrass-4.jpg

1 / 10

A Star is Born - Theodore DeReese "Teddy" Pendergrass, Sr. was born March 26, 1950 in Philadelphia, PA. He'd also become affectionately known as Teddy P, TP or Teddy Bear throughout the course of his career. (Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Take the Lead - Teddy P got his start as a drummer for The Cadillacs, a soul group that eventually joined forces with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Legend has it that Melvin asked him to sing lead after he dropped his drum set and began singing during a concert. The rest is music history. (Photo: Courtesy Jolie Records)

2 / 10

Take the Lead - Teddy P got his start as a drummer for The Cadillacs, a soul group that eventually joined forces with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Legend has it that Melvin asked him to sing lead after he dropped his drum set and began singing during a concert. The rest is music history. (Photo: Courtesy Jolie Records)

Top of the World - With TP on lead vocals, the Blue Notes released six albums between 1972 to 1976, including hit singles like "Wake Up Everybody" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now," which reached no.3 on the Billboard 200 and sold 2 million copies. (Photo: Sherry Rayn Barnett /Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

3 / 10

Top of the World - With TP on lead vocals, the Blue Notes released six albums between 1972 to 1976, including hit singles like "Wake Up Everybody" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now," which reached no.3 on the Billboard 200 and sold 2 million copies. (Photo: Sherry Rayn Barnett /Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Teddy Pendergrass - Teddy Pendergrass did his thing alongside Tony Bennett and the Miami Sound Machine during the halftime of Super Bowl XXIX in 1995.(Photo: Retna UK/Landov)

4 / 10

The End of an Era - Following the release of the Blue Notes' "Wake Up Everybody," a conflict between Melvin and Teddy P led the Philly singer to leave the group. (Photo: Retna UK /Landov)

/content/dam/betcom/images/2012/01/Music-01-01-01-15/011312-music-teddy-pendergrass-5.jpg

5 / 10

Mr. Solo Dolo - TP embarked on a highly successful solo music career with the release of his self-titled debut in 1977. It reached No. 5 on the R&B charts and No. 17 on the pop charts. (Photo: Dalle /Landov)

ADVERTISEMENT
Shining Star - TP began recording a string of timeless hits during a stretch of the late '70s. "Close the Door," "Turn Off the Lights" and "Love T.K.O." get burn to this day. (Photo: Courtesy Surefire/Wind Up Records)

6 / 10

Shining Star - TP began recording a string of timeless hits during a stretch of the late '70s. "Close the Door," "Turn Off the Lights" and "Love T.K.O." get burn to this day. (Photo: Courtesy Surefire/Wind Up Records)

A Sad Turn - On March 18, 1982, only 8 days before his 32nd birthday, TP was involved in a devastating car crash in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He suffered a spinal chord injury and was paralyzed from the waist down. (Photo: Courtesy Surefire/Wind Up Records)

7 / 10

A Sad Turn - On March 18, 1982, only 8 days before his 32nd birthday, TP was involved in a devastating car crash in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He suffered a spinal chord injury and was paralyzed from the waist down. (Photo: Courtesy Surefire/Wind Up Records)

Back in Business - Though confined to a wheelchair, Teddy remained active. He returned to the studio and released 1984's "Love Language" album. He made a brief appearance at a Live Aid concert in 1985, was nominated for several Grammys and continued to release albums until 2004. He also penned an autobiography titled "Truly Blessed" in 1998. (Photo: REUTERS/David Rae Morris /Landov)

8 / 10

Back in Business - Though confined to a wheelchair, Teddy remained active. He returned to the studio and released 1984's "Love Language" album. He made a brief appearance at a Live Aid concert in 1985, was nominated for several Grammys and continued to release albums until 2004. He also penned an autobiography titled "Truly Blessed" in 1998. (Photo: REUTERS/David Rae Morris /Landov)

A Helping Hand - TP founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, an organization dedicated to helping people with spinal chord injuries reach their full potential. (Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT /Landov)

9 / 10

A Helping Hand - TP founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, an organization dedicated to helping people with spinal chord injuries reach their full potential. (Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT /Landov)

Gone Too Soon - Teddy Pendergrass died at the age of 59 after a battle with colon cancer.  (Photo: Courtesy Surefire/Wind Up Records)

10 / 10

Gone Too Soon - Teddy Pendergrass died at the age of 59 after a battle with colon cancer.  (Photo: Courtesy Surefire/Wind Up Records)