Home of the Live Music Calendar Follow STLBlues on Twitter Follow STLBlues on Facebook Home of the Live Music Calendar Live Music Is Better, Book It Here!! Live music is better, book yours now!
Soul Singer Teddy Pendergrass Passes

Teddy PendergrassGrammy-nominated soul singer Teddy Pendergrass died Wednesday, January 13 at the age of fifty-nine after a long illness. Pendergrass got his start in 1971 as a member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Pendergrass propelled a string of hits with the Blue Notes such as "I Miss You," "Bad Luck," "Wake Up Everybody," and the two-million seller "If You Don't Know Me By Now." In 1977, Pendergrass launched a solo career and continued the arsenal of hit singles with "Close the Door," "Turn Off the Lights," "I Don't Love You Anymore" “Love T.K.O.,” and many more, earning five Grammy nominations for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Together, his voice led a string of ten consecutive platinum records.

By 1976, Pendergrass’ star had risen into the stratosphere. He was a dominating, commanding figure for black America, and referred to at the time by Mr. Gamble as “the Black Elvis.” In fact, at the time of his accident, like Elvis, Pendergrass was readying to launch a Hollywood movie career, with Sidney Poitier set to mentor.

Pendergrass later became an inspirational figure to millions in the twenty-eight years since he was left quadriplegic from a horrific 1982 car accident. He established the charitable Teddy Pendergrass Alliance (TPA) in 1987, and in 2007, formed a partnership with the National Spinal Cord Injury Association to help people with injuries during the early stages of recovery, which led to his recognition that year as one of the most influential SCI activists with his induction into the Spinal Cord Injury Association Hall of Fame.

Pendergrass’ comeback was celebrated with his heroic performance at the Live Aid concert in his native Philadelphia on July 13, 1985. He went on to release four more albums through the ’90s on Asylum and its sister label Elektra, among them Joy (1988) and Truly Blessed (1991, which spun off the #1 R&B hit, “It Should’ve Been You”). Pendergrass continued on occasion to perform, most recently at the June 2007 Philadelphia concert, “Teddy 25 – A Celebration of Life, Hope and Possibilities,” and lead various philanthropic ventures.

 Live Music Calendar | Send Blues News | © STLBlues 2000 | Privacy Policy