Teddy Pendergrass

Latest Release

Essential Albums

Artist Playlists

More To Hear

About Teddy Pendergrass

With his husky baritone and passionate lyrics, legendary R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass found fame fronting Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes in the early ’70s before establishing a solo career that yielded five straight platinum albums. • The Philadelphia native began singing gospel and playing drums in church. At age 10, he became an ordained minister. • As a teen, Pendergrass played drums for the vocal group The Cadillacs. His rhythmic skills earned him a spot in The Blue Notes, led by Harold Melvin. In 1970, Pendergrass stepped out from behind the drumkit and became the lead singer. • In 1972, the rechristened Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes signed with Philadelphia International Records and scored their first Top 10 R&B hit with “I Miss You,” a harbinger of things to come. • The group is best known for 1972’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” which topped the US R&B chart and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. • With Pendergrass at the helm, The Blue Notes also topped the R&B charts with “The Love I Lost” (1973) and “Wake Up Everybody” (1975). • In 1975, Pendergrass left the group due to a financial dispute. Two years later, he released his self-titled solo debut, a Top 10 R&B hit that achieved platinum sales. • He received his first Grammy nomination (for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male) for his seductive 1978 single “Close The Door.” • Pendergrass made history for being the first Black singer to have five consecutive platinum albums. His streak ran from 1977’s Teddy Pendergrass to 1981’s It’s Time for Love. • A 1982 car accident in Philadelphia left Pendergrass paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair. The singer completed physical therapy and returned in 1984 with Love Language, featuring “Hold Me,” a duet with Whitney Houston. • In 1998, Pendergrass released his fourteenth and final album, This Christmas (I'd Rather Have Love). • He died in January 2010 at age 59.

Kingstree, SC, United States
March 26, 1950
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada