Tyrese Gibson
**FILE** Actor Tyrese Gibson attends the International Medical Corps Annual Awards celebration at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 30, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Actor and R&B singer Tyrese has signed on to play Teddy Pendergrass in an upcoming biopic for Warner Bros.

Gibson will produce the new movie with Lee Daniels and Pendergrass’ widow will serve as an executive producer.

“I am honored to take this journey. … This is the role that I feel I was born to play,” Gibson said in 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.”

Pendergrass, who grabbed the spotlight in the early 1970s as lead singer for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, went on to record a string of solo hits including “Turn Off the Lights,” “Close the Door” and “Love TKO” before a 1982 car accident left him paralyzed. He intermittently continued to sing and perform from a wheelchair until his death in 2010.

Gibson, who has been nominated for six Grammy awards, made his feature-film debut as the lead in 2001’s “Baby Boy,” but perhaps is best known for his roles in the “Fast & Furious” and “Transformers” franchises.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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