Overcoming Setbacks -The Teddy Pendergrass Story

“Overcoming Setbacks- The Teddy Pendergrass Story” written by Guest Contributor.

Teddy Pendergrass Overcoming Setbacks

Teddy Pendergrass was an American R&B singer and songwriter popular in the 1970’s.  His first hit was with a band called Melvin and The Blue Notes…”If You Don’t Know By Now”.  You can listen below.

VIDEO: Teddy Pendergrass

During his career, Teddy Pendergrass rose to fame to have several Grammy nominations and multi-platinum records, but he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

His Story

His father was never involved in his life. In fact, he didn’t meet his father until he was ten years old.  He had a one time meeting before his father was murdered by a drunken buddy a year later.

He says from that point on he was determined to never do without. The strength he gained from not having a father there for him, along with a strong, loving mother, taught him to persevere through almost anything.

He needed that strength for what was yet to come in 1982.

He was at the height of his career with platinum albums, sold out concerts, a line of designer jeans and product endorsements.

Then it happened.

On March 18, 1982, when he was driving along a familiar winding road in Philadelphia; a road he had driven hundreds of times.

He approached a curve to discovered his brakes had gone out.

He went through a guard rail and suffered a spinal cord injury at the base of his neck.  In one single stroke everything was gone.

He was paralyzed from the waist down,  confined to a wheelchair and had limited use of his arms for the rest of his life.

Overcoming Setbacks

He was used to taking advantage of every opportunity after such a hard and poor upbringing, but with this he felt hopeless.

Then one day after his accident he read an article entitled “Who would be the next Pendergrass?” It upset him so much he was determined to make a comeback.

It was the turning point.

He says his injury taught him to express his emotions and learn to trust.  He had a new appreciation for life when he realized he could have died.

He gained the strength he  needed for overcoming  the setbacks that were  holding him back.

Truly Blessed

Now that I know just what I must face

And I see exactly what life can put you through

I go through life now with a smile on my face

Because there’s nothing there’s nothing there’s nothing that I cannot do.

Now that I know that I’m not alone

He’s there and I know that he’ll see me through.

I guess I’ll sum it all up in one phrase

I am truly blessed –  Teddy Pendergrass

Here’s to YOUR success!


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Article:  Overcoming Setbacks and Teddy Pendergrass


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