Teddy Pendergrass was an American singer. Born in Kingstree, South Carolina and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he initially rose to musical fame as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. After leaving the group in 1976, Pendergrass launched a successful solo career under the Philadelphia International label, releasing five consecutive platinum albums (a record at the time for an African-American R&B artist). Pendergrass's career was suspended in 1982 after a car crash left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Pendergrass continued his successful solo career until announcing his retirement in 2007.