Taazmayia "Taaz" Melanie Lang was a beautiful and talented woman who hung out with celebrities and was close friends with several well-known people in the music industry. She was reportedly friends with Dionne Warwick and Nancy Wilson. One of the people she was most known for being connected to is the late R&B crooner, Teddy Pendergrass. Taaz was his manager and one-time girlfriend.
The manager of Teddy Bear Productions, located at 215 South Broad Street, Taaz was estranged from her husband, former Philadelphia Eagles fullback, Israel "Izzy" Lang, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
On Thursday, April 14, 1977, Taaz spent most of the day in New York, finishing up details for a tour for Teddy. Although the two were no longer dating, she continued to manage the popular singer.
She spoke with her mother, Eva Ritter, around 10:00 pm and told her she would be home, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.
Around 11:30 pm, Tazz returned home from work with an associate, Jo-Jo Tynes. She was in the driveway of her residence at 700 West Allen's Lane in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when an unidentified assailant emerged from some bushes and shot Taaz once in the chest.
Taaz was rushed to Germantown Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 11:42 pm.
According to Teddy Pendergrass's autobiography, Truly Blessed, Teddy said, " Taaz was tending to business but got back to Philly in time to say goodbye before I left. We promised to talk the next day." He went on to say, " As the rest of the entourage checked into the hotel, a desk clerk said, 'Mr. Pendergrass, you have an urgent message from Philadelphia.' I dialed the number and was informed that Taaz had been murdered. I was in shock."
Teddy Pendergrass continued to state, "Apparently the night before, Taaz and Jo Jo Tynes, an employee of mine, drove my Mercedes to her home. Jo Jo was getting something out of the trunk, and Taaz was getting out her keys to open the front door when someone emerged from the bushes and shot her point-blank range. The bullet passed through her arm and pierced her heart. She died almost instantly."
Teddy Pendergrass also stated, " I have never gotten over her murder."
Rumors immediately spread that her murder was the result of a hit. A robbery was not involved, and Jo-Jo was left uninjured. Authorities allegedly suspected the Black Mafia of Philadelphia, as they were resentful of the control Taaz had over Teddy's career.
Her funeral was held on April 19, 1977, and the Reverand Jessie Jackson delivered her eulogy at Second Macedonia Baptist Church. Taaz was laid to rest in Chelten Hills Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
They have made no arrests in the homicide of Taazmayia "Taaz" Melanie Lang.