This has been an awful, awful week for bad news. Today apparently is no exception. I just woke up to learn that R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass has passed away.

What a sad way to kick off a Throwback Thursday post.

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CNN reports that he passed away last night, and details aren’t forthcoming but his death was related to complications from his 1982 car accident.

“His beloved family surrounded him. The world has lost one of its greatest voices and performers.” “His family is devastated. He has three children and, even though it was expected, it still hurts,” his former publicist, Lisa Barbaris, said.

When I was a young’un, Teddy’s music was too grown and sexy for me. But as I got older and started digging in the crates (so to speak), I came to appreciate his smoldering, quiet storm style of music.

Thanks to the hip hop generation, samples from songs like Love TKO became part of popular music again, and became one of the top 10 hip hop samples of all time (at least according to that YouTube video).

Close the Door, live. Ooooh wee. That’s the Teddy P I wasn’t allowed to see as a kid, and the Teddy P we all remember – sweaty, sexy, with all those gold medallions around his neck. It doesn’t get much sexier than that.

This song never fails to put a smile on my face. Even the title. It’s so good, loving somebody When Somebody Loves You Back. So true, so uplifting.

And my favorite Teddy Pendergrass song came from his days with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

Yes, Teddy sang lead on If You Don’t Know Me By Now, and ripped hearts in two with those powerful lyrics back in 1972. Soul music doesn’t get much sweeter.

Teddy Pendergrass gave us so many classic soul hits, and set the bar so high for R&B singers to come. His passing comes after years of suffering, after being paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident back in 1982. Teddy P, we thank you for your music and the inspiration you gave the world. Rest in Peace.

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