Teddy Pendergrass, 59, Dies

Illustration for article titled Teddy Pendergrass, 59, Dies

Sad news out of Philadelphia. Teddy Pendergrass has died at the age of 59 after a bout with colon cancer.

The singer's son, Teddy Pendergrass II, said his father died at a hospital in suburban Philadelphia. The singer underwent colon cancer surgery eight months ago and had "a difficult recovery," his son said.

Pendergrass, who was born in Philadelphia on March 26, 1950, gained popularity first as a member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.

In 1971, the group signed a record deal with the legendary writer/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The group released its first single, "I Miss You," in 1972 and then released "If You Don't Know Me by Now," which was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Pendergrass quit the group in 1975 and embarked on a solo career in 1976. It was his solo hits that brought him his greatest fame. With songs such as "Love T.K.O.," ''Close the Door" and "I Don't Love You Anymore," he came to define a new era of black male singers with his powerful, aggressive vocals that spoke to virility, not vulnerability.

Pendergrass, the first black male singer to record five consecutive multi-platinum albums, made women swoon with each note, and his concerts were a testament to that adulation, with infamous stories of women throwing their underwear on stage for his affection.


Below, are just a few of the songs that Teddy P's growl made classic.

Wake Up Everybody - Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

If You Don't Know Me By Now - Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

Love TKO - Teddy Pendergrass

Turn Off the Lights - Teddy Pendergrass

Good night, Teddy Bear.

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