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Thousands gathered in Philadelphia on Saturday to pay their respects to the late, great Teddy Pendergrass.
From The Philadelphia Inquirer
Soul singer Teddy Pendergrass’ funeral Saturday was the kind of soaring ceremony that punctuates the end of a larger-than-large life.
A 200-member gospel choir jubilated with high-decibel exhultation, while a band and a sternum-vibrating organ roused the estimated 4,000 people who filled mammoth Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church on Cheltenham Avenue, the biggest African American church in Philadelphia.
In turn, singers Melba Moore, Tyrese Gibson, Bunny Sigler, Gerald Austin, Lyfe Jennings, and Musiq performed songs by Pendergrass, a brawny, seductive baritone who leavened an incandescent sexuality with just enough sensitivity to stir arenas full of women and heat any room in which his music played.
“He sounded like hot fudge on cherry vanilla ice cream with all the toppings,” remembered friend and neighbor Dyana Williams, a personality on WRNB-FM (107.9), in an interview last week. “He was delicious, an auditory and visual pleasure – the love man.”
Pendergrass, 59, raised in North Philadelphia and a member of Enon, died Jan. 13 of a protracted illness that followed a diagnosis of colon cancer last year.