Teddy Pendergrass was more than just a great singer – he was an inspiration. After a 1982 car accident, the R&B star was paralyzed from the waist down. But he didn't give up, and he didn't stop singing. His career and his determination remained strong after his injury – he continued recording and performing live; he received more Grammy nominations after the accident than before it; and he branched out to do good beyond the music world, creating The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance to help those with spinal cord injuries. Pendergrass stayed strong in the face of his injury for almost 30 years until his death in 2010 of respiratory failure.
Today, Teddy Pendergrass would have turned 62. We're thanking him for his strength and his music with a look at some his great musical moments.
Pendergrass starts out strong in 1972, singing lead for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes:
In 1980, Pendergrass – three years into a successful solo career – releases his signature song, “Love TKO.”
Pendergrass triumphantly returns to the stage three years after his accident, performing at Live Aid in 1985:
In 1988, Pendergrass tops the R&B charts with "Joy," his comeback single.
Written by Linnea Crowther