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Teddy Pendergrass

PHILADELPHIA — Thousands have paid their respects to R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass at a memorial service in Philadelphia.

Pendergrass is best known as the singer of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and other hits. He died Jan. 13 at age 59 after a battle with colon cancer.

A 200-member gospel choir sang at Saturday’s service at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. Singers such as Melba Moore and Tyrese Gibson performed. About 4,000 people attended, including actor Ben Vereen and singer Stephanie Mills.

Pendergrass was later laid to rest at a private burial service.

Pendergrass was left paralyzed from the waist down following a 1982 car crash but continued to record music.

Music producer Kenny Gamble says after Pendergrass was injured, “His life changed and he started to really give to others.”

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