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The Struggle of Teddy Pendergrass

The death of R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass sent us back to the archives, where we found this 1998 profile of the consummate sex symbol of the 1970s. In it, music critic Richard Harrington explores how a 1982 car crash left the smooth, sexy singer his voice, but broke his soul.

He recovered, however, and in 1985 appeared on a stage for the first time since the accident when Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson invited him as a special guest in their segment of the internationally broadcast Live Aid concert from Philadelphia's JFK Stadium. Pendergrass sang the opening verse of "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)."

Here's a video from his heyday:

And another from his time with the Blue Notes, as lead singer:

By Patricia Sullivan  |  January 14, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  Musicians  
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