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Famous Like Me > Singer > K > Gladys Knight

Profile of Gladys Knight on Famous Like Me

Name: Gladys Knight  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 28th May 1944
Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
The cover to Gladys Knight's 2001 album At Last.

Gladys Maria Knight (born May 28, 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia) is a legendary African-American R&B/soul singer and actress. She is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, for both the Motown and Buddah Records labels, with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, the most famous incarnation of which also included her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest.


Gladys Knight & the Pips

Main article: Gladys Knight & the Pips

Gladys Knight was born to Merald Woodlow Knight and Sarah Elizabeth Woods. She first zoomed to minor fame by winning Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour TV show contest at the age of 7 in 1952, due to her powerful singing voice. The following year, she, her brother Merlad, sister Brenda, and cousins William and Elenor Guest formed a musical group called The Pips. By the end of the decade, the act had begun to tour, and had replaced Brenda Knight and Elenor Guest with Gladys Knight's cousins William Guest and Langston George.

Gladys Knight discovered she was pregnant in 1960, and married her boyfriend Jimmy Newman. After a miscarriage, Knight returned to performing with the Pips. In 1961, Bobby Robinson produced the single "Every Beat of My Heart" for the group, which became a #1 R&B and #6 pop hit when released on Vee-Jay Records. In 1962, Langston George left the group, which at that time renamed itself Gladys Knight & the Pips and continued as a quartet.

In 1962, after scoring a second hit, "Letter Full of Tears", Knight became pregnant again, and gave birth to a son, Jimmy, Jr., that year. She retired from the road to raise a family, and The Pips toured on their own. After giving birth to a daughter, Kenya, in 1964, Knight was forced to return to recording and the Pips in order to support her family.

Gladys Knight & the Pips joined the Motown roster in 1966, and, although regarded as a second-string act, scored several hit singles, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (1967), "The Nitty Gritty" (1969),"Friendship Train" (1969), "If I Were Your Woman" (1970), "I Don't Want To Do Wrong" (1971), "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" (1972), and "Daddy Could Swear (I Declare)" (1973).

The act left Motown for a better deal with Buddah Records in 1973, and achieved full-fledged success that year with hits such as "Midnight Train to Georgia" (their only #1 pop hit), "I've Got to Use My Imagination", and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me".

Knight and the Pips continued to have hits until the late 1970s, when they were forced to record separately due to legal issues, resulting in Knight's first solo recordings. During this period, Knight divorced Jimmy Newman, and married record producer Barry Hankerson (future uncle of R&B singer Aaliyah) in 1976. Knight and Hankerson remained married for three years, during which time they had a son, Shanga Ali. Upon their divorce, Hankerson and Knight had a heated custody battle over Shanga Ali.

After a dry spell, they returned to the charts in the 1980s with the #1 R&B hits "Save the Overtime (For Me)" (1983) and "Love Overboard" (1987). During this period, Knight became addicted to gambling and the game baccarat. She finally called Gamblers Anonymous when she lost $45,000 in one night and was near bankruptcy.

After a successful 1988 tour, the Pips retired and Gladys Knight began a career as a solo artist. Gladys Knight & the Pips were later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Solo career

While still with The Pips, Knight also joined with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John on the 1986 AIDS benefit single, "That's What Friends Are For". In 1989, Gladys Knight recorded the title track for the James Bond movie Licence to Kill.

Gladys Knight's third solo LP, Good Woman, was released in 1991 and featured the #2 R&B hit "Men". Her fourth solo LP, Just for You, went gold and was nominated for the 1995 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. During this period, Knight was briefly married to motivational speaker Les Brown. Knight's 2001 LP, At Last, won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance.

Knight joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1997. She has occasionally teased the LDS Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, that his flock needs to inject some "pep" into their music. Ms. Knight created and now directs the LDS (Mormon) choir Saints Unified Voices . SUV has released a CD entitled One Voice, and occasionally performs at LDS stake firesides.

Solo discography


  • 1978 : Miss Gladys Knight (Buddah Records)
  • 1979 : Gladys Knight(Columbia Records)
  • 1991 : Good Woman (MCA Records)
  • 1994 : Just For You (MCA Records)
  • 1999 : Many Different Roads (MCA Records)
  • 2000 : At Last (MCA Records)


  • 1978: "I'm Coming Home Again"
  • 1978: "It's A Better Than Good Time"
  • 1979: "Am I Too Late"
  • 1989: "Licence to Kill"
  • 1991: "Meet Me in the Middle"
  • 1991: "Men" (R&B #2)
  • 1992: "Where Would I Be"
  • 1994: "End of the Road" Medley: "If You Don't Know Me by Now"/"Love Don't Love Nobody"
  • 1994: "I Don't Want to Know" (R&B #32)
  • 1995: "Next Time" (R&B #30)


  • Save the Children (1973) (documentary)
  • Pipe Dreams (1976)
  • Twenty Bucks (1993)
  • The Messiah XXI (2000) (documentary)
  • Hollywood Homicide (2003)
  • Unbeatable Harold (2005) (currently in post-production)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Gladys Knight