Legendary soul star TEDDY PENDERGRASS has died at the age of 59.
The singer passed away at a hospital in his native Philadelphia on Wednesday (13Jan10), eight months after he underwent surgery to treat colon cancer.
The star shot to fame as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in the 1970s, belting out hits including the Grammy Award-nominated track If You Don't Know Me By Now.
Pendergrass quit the group in 1975 to pursue a solo career and stacked up popular singles like Love T.K.O., Close the Door and I Don't Love You Anymore.
His career was put on hold by a near-fatal car accident in 1982 which left him paralysed from the waist down after suffering severe spinal injuries.
Pendergrass returned to the studio two years later to record a duet with Whitney Houston, Hold Me, which featured on her self-titled 1985 debut album. He returned to the stage with an appearance at the famous Live Aid concert in 1985, singing from his wheelchair, and continued to record and perform up until 2006, when he announced his retirement from the music business.
Pendergrass is survived by his wife, a son, two daughters and nine grandchildren.