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Theodore DeReese Pendergrass, known professionally as Teddy Pendegrass, was an American singer from Philadelphia, PA who rose to fame during the 1970s. He began his career singing gospel, and at age 10, he was ordained a minster. Around the same time, Pendergrass took up drums and became a junior deacon in his church. His first single was “Angel With Muddy Feet”, which wasn’t commercially successful. Pendergrass went on to play drums for several Philadelphia groups, and eventually became the drummer for the Cadillacs. In 1970, Pendergrass was spotted by Blue Notes founder Harold Melvin, who asked  him to be the group’s drummer. However, during a performance, Pendergrass began singing along, and Melvin, impressed with his vocals, made  him lead singer. Pendergrass went on to sing lead on such  hits as “I Miss You”, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, “The Love I Lost”, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and others. In 1975, Pendergrass left the group to pursue a solo career. In 1977, Pendergrass released his self titled debut album, which featured the single “I Don’t Love You Anymore.” His sophomore effort, “Life Is A Song Worth Singing”,  featured the singles “Close The Door”, “Only You”, Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose” and “It Don’t Hurt Now.” Pendergrass also scored with the hits “Turn Off The Lights”, “Come And Go With Me”, “Love TKO” and “Can We Try.” He went on to release the albums “Teddy Pendergrass” (1977), “Life Is A Song Worth Singing” (1978), “Teddy” (1979), “TP” (1980), “It’s Time For Love” (1981), “This One’s For You” (1982), “Heaven Only Knows” (1983), “Love Language” (1984), “Workin It Back” (1985), “Joy” (1988), “Truly Blessed” (1991), “A Little More Magic” (1993), “You And I” (1997). Teddy Pendergrass died on January 13, 2010 at age 59.

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