R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass died Wednesday evening, his former publicist said. He was 59. Pendergrass, known for smash love ballads such as Turn Off the Lights and Love TKO, died after a long illness. He died at a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was born. His family did not reveal details about his illness, but said it was related to complications from a 1982 car accident.
Hit continue reading for more details about Teddy’s career & a couple of videos.
Pendergrass’s career began when he was a drummer for The Cadillacs, which soon merged with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Melvin invited Pendergrass to become the lead singer after he jumped from the rear of a stage and started singing his heart out. Months later the group signed with Gamble & Huff on the then CBS subsidiary Philadelphia International Records in 1972. The Blue Notes had hits such as “I Miss You,” “Bad Luck,” “Wake Up Everybody,” the two million seller “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and many more. Following personality conflicts between Melvin and Pendergrass, Pendergrass launched a solo career and released hit singles like “The More I Get the More I Want,” “Close the Door,” “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” “Turn Off the Lights” and others.
His first solo album was self titled Teddy Pendergrass (1977), followed by Life is a Song Worth Singing (1978), Live Coast to Coast and Teddy (1979), 1980’s TP and the final Philadelphia International Records album It’s Time for Love (1981). He also sang a duet with Whitney Houston on “Hold Me”, from her self-titled debut album.
In 1996, he starred alongside Stephanie Mills in the touring production of the gospel musical Your Arms Too Short to Box with God. In 1998, Pendergrass released his autobiography entitled, Truly Blessed.
In 2006, Pendergrass announced his retirement from the music business.