PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Soul singer Teddy Pendergrass died at Pennsylvania's Bryn Mawr Hospital Wednesday night of complications from colon cancer surgery, his son said.
The Philadelphia-born recording artist, who was known for his hits "Turn Off the Lights" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now," was 59, the Philadelphia Inquirer said.
Pendergrass played drums and sang with the band Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, which recorded the popular songs "The Love I Lost," "Yesterday I Had the Blues" and "Wake Up, Everybody," then began his solo career in 1976.
He has the distinction of being the first black male singer to record five consecutive multi-platinum albums, the Inquirer said.
Although Pendergrass was left paralyzed from the waist down after a 1982 car crash, he continued to record through the 1990s.
Producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff described Pendergrass in a joint statement as "one of the greatest artists that the music industry has ever known, and there hasn't been another one since.
"We've lost our voice and we've lost our best friend, but we're thankful for what we had," the statement said. "It was beautiful. He was one of the best."