Singer and actor Tyrese Gibson has signed on to play Teddy Pendergrass in an upcoming Warner Bros. biopic.
The film will be written by Little Marvin, with Donald De Line, Lee Daniels and Gibson serving as producers. Joan Pendergrass, the legendary R&B singer’s widow, is an executive producer on the project.
“This is the role that I feel I was born to play,” Gibson said in a statement. “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!”
Gibson also took to Instagram to tell his younger fans they “have no clue what’s going on, this is what real R&B soul music and legacy looks like.”
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Pendergrass gained prominence in the 1970s as lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. He released his self-titled solo album in 1977, and was known for such hits as Love T.K.O., Turn Off The Lights and When Somebody Loves You Back.
But his life was turned upside down in 1982 when a near-fatal car crash left him paralyzed from the chest down. After fighting to recover, Pendergrass learned to sing again and returned to the stage at the historic Live Aid concert in London in 1985. The five-time Grammy nominee continued to perform, and died in 2010. He was 59.
The release date for the film has not yet been announced.