It's 3AM in the morning here in the DMV and I literally just woke up from a complete and utter nightmare. I'm talking the kinda nightmare that leaves sweat all over your sheets and tears in your eyes. :sigh: So I turn to my usual source of late night comfort - my blackberry. Unfortunately, the news I found within provided NO additional comfort at all. Teddy Pendergrass is dead. Well dammit, there's no going back to sleep after that.
Teddy Pendergrass, who became R&B's reigning sex symbol in the 1970s and '80s with his forceful, masculine voice and passionate love ballads and later became an inspirational figure after suffering a devastating car accident that left him paralyzed, died Wednesday at age 59.
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.
"To all his fans who loved his music, thank you," his son said. "He will live on through his music."
Pendergrass suffered a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed from the waist down in the 1982 car accident. He spent six months in a hospital but returned to recording the next year with the album "Love Language."
He briefly returned to the stage at the Live Aid concert in 1985, performing from his wheelchair.
Pendergrass later founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, an organization whose mission is to encourage and help people with spinal cord injuries achieve their maximum potential in education, employment, housing, productivity and independence, according to its Web site.
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.
Gamble remembered Pendergrass fondly and lauded him.
"I think Teddy Pendergrass was really one of a kind of an artist, and his music kind of speaks for him," Gamble said in an interview early Thursday. "He had such a powerful voice, and he had a great magnetism."
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. [Source]
There aren't any cut cards about it, I LOVE Teddy! His music has been the inspiration for many late night grooves into early morning sessions and throughout my entire life, TP's been right there. I woke up to him, got behind closed doors with him, I loved with him, broke up with him. Shoot, even when I was playing hard to get, Teddy was there to school me on the benefits of just letting go. With our moments of incredible highs and devastating lows, Teddy P told me that life is a song worth singing suga! It's only befitting in his death that he leaves me with the powerful reminder of these three simple words - I Miss You.
Rest In Peace Teddy.
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posted by Soulfull @ 1/14/2010 , ,