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He's been a pioneer in many of the subgenres of soul music. Smooth soul is one of the genres that Al Green conquered. He is often referred to as one of the last great soul singers.
Known for slow, smooth music, Pendergrass was a legend. He got his start as a member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes but rose to solo fame with his distinct, raspy voice.
He was a pioneer of not only smooth soul, but funk and disco as well. He was a jack of all trades as a singer, songwriter and producer. His music aided in the popularization of smooth soul music.