Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Tyrese Gibson and Lee Daniels are teaming up for a new biopic on platinum selling R&B superstar—Teddy Pendergrass.

According to S&A, Daniels will produce the Warner Bros. project and Gibson will portray the crooner, who was the first African-American entertainer to have five consecutive platinum albums. He was also known as the “black Elvis.”

“I am honored to take this journey… this is the role that I feel I was born to play,” Gibson said. “Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and before he passed put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story. Being here in this time and in this space and moment with Lee Daniels, Donald De Line, Little Marvin and Warner Bros is an answered prayer. Teddy, I just hope we make you, your wife and family proud… Here we go!!”

Teddy Pendergrass was one of the biggest music stars of the 1970s. He started out as the lead singer for the Philadelphia based-group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. He went on to solo success in the mid 70s and ruled the charts with such sexy tunes as “Come Go With Me,” Close the Door,” “Turn Off the Lights,” “Love T.K.O,” and my personal favorite “When Somebody Loves You Back.” He was also known for his “women only” concerts and was one of the first male celebrities to have a fashion line for women and an endorsement deal with Schlitz Malt Liquor.

In 1982, Pendergrass was involved in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He passed away from colon cancer at age 59.

I highly, highly recommend watching Showtime’s recent documentary about Pendergrass titled If You Don’t Know Me.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and The Northern Echo

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