Teddy Pendergrass, the gruff-voiced Philadelphia soul powerhouse who belted out hits like "The Love I Lost" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now" as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in the 1970s for Philadelphia International Records and went on to forge an influential solo career as a seductive bedroom balladeer, has died. He was 59.
The singer's son, Teddy Pendergrass II, said his father died yesterday at Bryn Mawr Hospital. He underwent colon cancer surgery eight months ago. Pendergrass II said the singer, who had been paralyzed from the waist down after he crashed his Rolls-Royce on Lincoln Drive in the Germantown section of Philadelphia in 1982, had "a difficult recovery."