Teddy Pendergrass dies at 59
"To all his fans who loved his music, thank you," his son said. "He will live on through his music."
Yet more sad news.
The singer’s son, Teddy Pendergrass II, said his father died at Bryn Mawr Hospital in suburban Philadelphia. The singer underwent colon cancer surgery eight months ago and had “a difficult recovery,” his son said.
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Terry 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.