Monday, January 18, 2010

Velvety Voiced Teddy Pendergrass Dead at 59

Velvety Voiced Teddy Pendergrass Dead at 59
Wed., Jan. 13, 2010
Natalie Finn

Teddy Pendergrass' soul has taken flight.

The buttery smooth R&B singer died Wednesday at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Philadelphia. He was 59.

Pendergrass, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident in 1982, underwent surgery for colon cancer eight months ago and had a "difficult recovery," according to his son, Teddy Jr.

A Philly native, Pendergrass came to fame in the early 1970s as lead singer of the Blue Notes, responsible for hits such as "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and "Wake Up Everybody."

He released his self-titled debut in 1977 and enjoyed a successful solo career, siring velvety singles like "Close the Door" and "Turn Off the Light."

Pendergrass spent six months in the hospital after his 1982 crash, but perservered in the studio, going on to duet with Whitney Houston on "Hold Me," from her 1985 debut effort, appearing at Live Aid that year, and releasing a slew of new albums into the '00s.

He founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance to aid in the education, employment and overall life-style enhancement of people with spinal cord injuries.

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