January 14th, 2010
01:28 AM ET

R&B's Teddy Pendergrass dead at 59

R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass passed away Wednesday night surrounded by family members following a long illness. The 59 year old Philadelphia native started honing his craft and voice at an early age, singing in youth choirs, then joining the Cadillacs, a group that later merged with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.

The group's self titled debut album in 1972, spawned the number one hit  “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” later covered by the band Simply Red. Over the next three years the band saw success in the form of hits like, “The Love I Lost,” “Bad Luck,” “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and “Wake up Everybody.”

Pendergrass embarked on a solo career in 1977 with hits like  “I Don't Love You Anymore," "You Can't Hide From Yourself," and "The More I Get the More I Want." Heating up the charts and the stage, Pendergrass became known for his steamy  “Ladies Only” tours. He also received critical acclaim with Billboard's 1977 Pop Album New Artist Award and an American Music Award for best R&B performer of 1978. FULL POST

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