Theodore DeReese Pendergrass (March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010) was an American singer–songwriter and composer. He first rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in the 1970s before a successful solo career at the end of the decade. In 1982, Pendergrass was severely injured in an auto accident in Philadelphia, resulting in his being paralyzed from the chest down. He subsequently founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, a foundation that helps those with spinal cord injuries. He commemorated 25 years of living after his spinal cord injury with the star-filled event, "Teddy 25 - A Celebration of Life", at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center. His last performance was on a PBS special at Atlantic City's Borgata Casino in November 2008.