Soul legend Teddy Pendergrass has died at the age of 59. His son, Teddy Pendergrass II, said his father died in hospital in Philadelphia after failing to recover from a bout of colon cancer, which he was treated for eight months ago. Pendergrass is known for his work as a solo singer, and for fronting Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.
His life was full of extreme highs and lows—hits like “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and “The Love I Lost” are legendary in the soul world and beyond, but Pendergrass was paralyzed from the waist down after an accident in his Rolls-Royce in 1982. It’s testament to his character that the accident never stopped him from recording and performing.
“When Teddy walked out on the stage, he didn’t even open his mouth and the place went crazy with screaming females,” said Leon Huff, who wrote and produced many of Pendergrass’s hits with his partner, Kenny Gamble. “He was just so dynamic and when he started singing, he just blew them away.”