R&B icon Theodore DeReese "Teddy" Pendergrass passed away on Wednesday evening at the age of 59.
Pendergrass emerged as the drummer with the Cadillacs in the late '60s, and remained with the group when it merged with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in the early '70s. He then transitioned from drums to vocals, and famously lent his powerful baritone chords to the group's smash 'If You Don't Know Me By Now.'
In the late '70s, his solo career took off, with songs like 'The More I Get the More I Want,' 'Turn Off the Lights,' 'Love TKO,' 'Close the Door,' and 'I Don't Love You Anymore,' rendering him an R&B icon. He passed away in a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, just
miles from his place of birth.
While the cause of his death is uncertain, CNN reports that it was related to complications stemming from a 1982 car accident. However, Pendergrass had undergone colon cancer surgery in 2009, complications from which also may have contributed to the late singer's death.