Reuters reports that Teddy Pendergrass, a Philly R&B icon who was paralyzed in a car accident in 1982, has died at the age of 59. "Pendergrass began his career as a drummer but first rose to fame in the 1970s when he became lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which had hits such as 'If You Don't Know Me by Now' and 'I Miss You.' After leaving the Blue Notes for a solo career, he had a string of hit love ballads that were considered musical aphrodisiacs by his fans. His solo hits, notable for his smooth baritone and sensual delivery, included 'I Don't Love You Anymore,' 'Close the Door, "'urn off the Lights' and 'Love TKO.' Pendergrass crashed his Rolls-Royce in Philadelphia in 1982 and was left paralyzed from the waist down. He resumed his recording career the next year with the album 'Love Language' and returned to the stage by performing from his wheelchair at the Live Aid concert in 1985."
The great Teddy Pendergrass, an anchor of the Philadelphia R&B scene, died this week -- nearly three decades after being paralyzed in a car accident. In 2008, PW music editor Brian McManus caught up with Pendergrass.
Guy Fried says Teddy was planning a trip back to Africa to play a concert and, even after learning of his illness, “he was always optimistic, always full of energy and full of respect and bright ideas for the future."