TEDDY PENDERGRASS SCANDAL:
Teddy Pendergrass grew up in
Philadelphia. He only saw his father a few times, his entire life. As a boy,
he often passed an opulent estate on his way to school, he vowed, one day, I
will own that home. He purchased the estate after recording five platinum albums
in succession. Pendergrass was the first black artist to achieve this feat.
He was unable to purchase the
estate when he sung lead for Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes because Melvin
allegedly ripped the group off. During his tenure, Pendergrass only received
one royalty check. When the group toured, Melvin stayed in lavish 4-star hotel
suites while the remaining Blue Notes stayed in fleabag motels.
To make matters worse, allegedly,
group members had to make an appointment when they wanted to speak with Melvin.
After numerous hits, in 1976, Pendergrass quit the Blue Notes
after Melvin refused to rename the group ‘Teddy Pendergrass and the Blue Notes.’
Pendergrass had a very successful
solo career and he became rich. He purchased the rights to the Otis Redding
story and Pendergrass and Stephanie Mills invested in joint ventures. They met
after they recorded a duet together.
Pendergrass was also a close
friend to Latoya Jackson and he had four children with as many women back home
in Philadelphia. During this time, Pendergrass and Marvin Gaye had a falling out because Pendergrass allegedly went on a few dates with Marvin’s
Pendergrass eventually came
up with an concept to have ‘women only’ concerts, which quickly sold out across
the country as women threw their panties on stage.
Everything came to a halt on
March 18, 1982 when Pendergrass drove home with a transvestite in his Rolls
Royce after they attended a 76er's game. Pendergrass crashed, severely injuring
his spinal cord. His passenger escaped with cuts and bruises. Pendergrass
would be paralyzed from the chest down.
The transvestite passenger (Tenika Watson) was a top drag performer on the East Coast (New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia). Watson allegedly had a rap sheet that included thirty-seven arrests for prostitution. Her shows were often sold out yet Pendergrass claimed he didn’t know that ‘she’ was really a man.
Rumors have also persisted
that the wife of a former sports superstar was also a passenger in the car but
was whisked from the accident to avoid scandal.
Years later, I saw Harold
Melvin & His Blue Notes in concert, during the performance, Melvin had a
hard time maintaining his balance, many in the audience assumed he was drunk
but this may have been early symptoms of the massive stroke that killed him
Shortly after Pendergrass'
accident, he sold his estate and moved into a smaller home where he resides
today. He was married to one of his former dancers for several years before
Click the following link to watch Teddy Pendergrass in concert, performing "When Somebody Loves You Back," Teddy Live!