Born: March 26, 1950 | Died: January 13, 2010 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Theodore DeReese Teddy Pendergrass, Sr. career began when he was a drummer for The Cadillacs, which soon merged with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Melvin invited Pendergrass to become the lead singer after he jumped from the rear of a stage and started singing his heart out. Months later the group signed with Gamble & Huff on the then-CBS subsidiary Philadelphia International Records in 1972. The Blue Notes had hits such as I Miss You, Bad Luck, Wake Up Everybody, the two million seller If You Don't Know Me By Now and many more. Following personality conflicts between Melvin and Pendergrass, Pendergrass launched a solo career and released hit singles like The More I Get the More I Want, Close the Door, I Don't Love You Anymore, Turn Off the Lights and others.
His first solo album was self titled Teddy Pendergrass (1977), followed by Life is a Song Worth Singing (1978), Live Coast to Coast and Teddy (1979), 1980's TP and the final Philadelphia International Records album It's Time for Love (1981). He also sang a duet with Whitney Houston on Hold Me, from her self-titled debut album.
The singer received several Grammy nominations during 1977 and 1978, -Billboard's 1977 Pop Album New Artist Award, an American Music Award for best R&B performer of 1978, and awards from -Ebony magazine and the NAACP. He was also in consideration for the lead in the movie biopic The Otis Redding Story. The '70s ended, but Pendergrass kept racking up the hits. TP, his fifth solo album, went platinum in the summer of 1980 off the singles Turn Off the Lights, Come Go with Me, Shout and Scream, It's You I Love, and Can't We Try. It's Time for Love gave Pendergrass another gold album in summer 1981, which included the hit singles Love TKO and I Can't Live Without Your Love.
A 1982 car accident left Pendergrass paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair bound. After almost a year of physical therapy and counseling, Pendergrass returned to the recording scene, signing a contract with Elektra/Asylum in 1983. His ninth solo album, his Elektra/Asylum debut, Love Language went gold the spring of 1984.
Philadelphia International issued two albums of unreleased tracks, This One's for You (1982) and Heaven Only Knows (1983). Other albums included Workin' It Back (1985), Joy (1988, whose title track went to number one R&B for two weeks), and Little More Magic (1993). The latter half of '90s found Pendergrass recording for the Surefire/Wind Up label. Truly Blessed (the name of an 1991 Elektra album) is the title of the autobiography Pendergrass co-authored with Patricia Romanowski.
1977: Teddy Pendergrass (Philadelphia International)
1978: Life Is a Song Worth Singing (Philadelphia International)
1979: Teddy (Philadelphia International)
1979: Live! Coast to Coast (Philadelphia International)
1980: TP (Philadelphia International)
1981: It's Time for Love (Philadelphia International)
1982: This One's for You (Philadelphia International)
1983: Heaven Only Knows (Philadelphia International)
1984: Love Language (Asylum)
1985: Greatest Hits (Philadelphia International)
1985: Workin' It Back (Asylum)
1988: Joy (Elektra)
1991: Truly Blessed (Elektra)
1993: A Little More Magic (Elektra)
1997: You and I (Surefire)
1998: The Best of Teddy Pendergrass (The Right Stuff)
1998: This Christmas I'd Rather Have Love (Surefire/Wind-Up)
2001: Greatest Slow Jams (The Right Stuff)
2002: From Teddy with Love (Razor & Tie)
2004: Love Songs Collection (The Right Stuff)
1977: "I Don't Love You Anymore"
1977: "The Whole Town's Laughing At Me"
1978: "Close the Door"
1978: "Only You"
1979: "Turn Off the Lights"
1979: "Come Go With Me"
1980: "Shout and Scream"
1980: "It's You I Love"
1980: "Can't We Try"
1980: "Love T.K.O."
1981: "Two Hearts" (with Stephanie Mills)
1981: "I Can't Live Without Your Love"
1982: "You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration"
1982: "The Gift of Life" / "Nine Times Out of Ten"
1982: "I Can't Win for Losing"
1983: "I Want My Baby Back"
1984: "Hold Me" (with Whitney Houston)
1984: "You're My Choice Tonight (Choose Me)"
1985: "Never Felt Like Dancin'"
1986: "Love 4/2"
1986: "Let Me Be Closer"
1988: "2 A.M."
1988: "Love Is the Power"
1990: "Glad to Be Alive" (with Lisa Fischer)
1991: "Make It with You"
1991: "It Should've Been You"
1991: "I Find Everything in You"
1994: "Believe in Love"
1994: "I'm Always Thinking About You"
1997: "Don't Keep Wastin' My Time"
1997: "Give It to Me"
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