Teddy Pendergrass' widow keeps his legacy alive

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Tuesday marks the fifth anniversary of the death of R&B soul singer Teddy Pendergrass.

Tuesday marks the fifth anniversary of the death of R&B soul singer Teddy Pendergrass.

His voice was the flagship sound for Philadelphia International Records back in the 1970s and today his widow vows to keep his legacy alive.

For Joan Pendergrass, the five years since her husband's death have been as inspiring as her short time with him in life.

"Teddy accepted who he was, what had happened. And he was determined to make the best of it and make a difference," Joan said.

His career was at its peak in 1982, when Pendergrass broke his neck in a tragic car accident on Lincoln Drive.

He was paralyzed from the chest down.

"He just found within himself the strength to move on," Joan said.

I met with the singer in 2007 at his Gladwyne home where he talked about his struggle to endure his fate.

On this 25th anniversary of his accident, he celebrated his new life.

"He was more determined than ever to live, not just exist but to live," Joan said.

He met Joan in 2006. They married two years later and he even sang to her at their wedding.

They motivated each other.

He founded a charity to help provide opportunities for people with similar injuries.

She's now working with Philadelphia International Records on a traveling exhibition of his music and memorabilia and a movie, starring Tyrese, the singer and actor, as Teddy.

As we strolled along the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, Joan confessed it was her first time seeing her late husband's plaque.

"I'm holding back tears. I am," Joan said.

Joan Pendergrass is devoted to ensuring that her husband's legacy is sustained for generations to come.

She has a message to others with spinal cord injuries.

"Life does not end there. You can lead a productive life," Joan said.
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