Thursday, January 14, 2010

Music Loses a Legend, SCI Loses another Hero


Teddy Pendergrass, one of R&Bs favorite sons, and a superstar of the 1970s and 1980s, sings his way home.

It's 1972 and there's a crackling fire in the fireplace, some Lancer's on the table, and smooth, soulful sounds are pouring out of the radio. You can bet it's Teddy Pendergrass whose voice is behind it.

But the voice and the man are both silent now as Pendergrass, 59, succumbed to a prolonged illness on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, Pa., where the Grammy-winner had been hospitalized since August.

How many babies were made to his brand of R&B featuring his strong, stirring and sexy style?

A lot.

Considering that his voice was on 10 consecutive platinum-selling albums, his appeal crossed racial lines and his triumph over tragedy following a car accident in 1982 which left him a paraplegic, brought Pendergrass worldwide acclaim.

His activism with the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, which formed a partnership with the National Spinal Cord
Injury Association, has helped others in their recovery from spinal cord injuries.

Some of his most famous No.1 hits included: "Close the Door," "Turn Off the Lights," "I Don't Love You Anymore" and "Love T.K.O.," which helped earn him five Grammy nominations, as his raw sensuality  and sex appeal created Beatles-level hysteria.

"Teddy Pendergrass was one of the greatest artists that the music industry has ever known, and there hasn't been another one since. We've lost our voice and we've lost our best friend, but we're thankful for what we had. It was beautiful. He was one of the best," said producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who worked with their friend in bringing soul music from Philadelphia ("The Sound of Philadelphia") to the world.

The man might be gone, but his voice will live on, insuring that he will never be forgotten.


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