14:31 14 January 2010
Soul singer legend Teddy Pendergrass has died at the age of 59.
He succumbed following "a difficult recovery" from colon cancer surgery, his son has told the AP news agency.
His son stated: "To all his fans who loved his music, thank you He will live on through his music."
One of the biggest stars of the late 1970s, Pendergrass was paralysed from the waist down after a 1982 car accident. In 2001, he went on his first tour since the accident.
Pendergrass found fame with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, whose signature tunes included the smash hit 'If You Don't Know Me By Now'. The lead singer then went solo in 1976.
He was the first black male singer to record five consecutive multi-platinum albums in the US.
His hits since quitting the band included 'Love TKO', 'Close The Door' and 'Turn Off The Lights'.
Pendergrass became something of a sex symbol attracting the adulation of enthusiastic young women at his concerts.
Leon Huff, of production and songwriting duo Gamble and Huff - who wrote some of his biggest hits - said he watched Pendergrass's first solo gig and "saw the coming of a superstar".
He said: "When Teddy walked out on the stage, he didn't even open his mouth and the place went crazy with screaming females.
"He was just so dynamic and, when he started singing, he just blew them away."
Huff's partner Kenny Gamble said: "He had about 10 platinum albums in a row so he was a very, very successful recording artist and a performing artist.
"He had a tremendous career ahead of him and the accident sort of got in the way of many of those plans."
"He never showed me that he was angry at all about his accident. In fact, he was very courageous."
His spinal cord injury in 1982 saw him spend six months in hospital before returning to the studio.
Pendergrass performed his first solo live dates in almost 20 years in May 2001 in Atlantic City, which were followed by an American tour.
He is survived by his wife, his son, two daughters, his mother and nine grandchildren.
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