EXPIRED: 01/13/10 – Teddy Pendergrass, 59, was confined to a wheelchair for much of his adult life but his voice was free and freeing.
Pendergrass, a self taught drummer, became the lead singer of the Philadelphia band, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. But everyone thought he was leader Harold Melvin. For a lead singer’s ego, there was no other move than to go solo. So go solo he did. In a big way.
Best known for hits in the 70’s an 80’s including “Turn Off the Light” and “Close the Door”, Pendergrass a pretty signifigant solo career that continued even after he was paralyzed from the waist down in 1982 when he was involved in a car accident. He spent 6 months in recovery, continued his career, but the hits eventually faded.
In the late 80’s he turned his attention to founding the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, aiming to provide support in the education and employment of spinal cord injury patients.
His death was from complications due to colon surgery.