"A Legend in Her Own Time"
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- inducted 1996
Vocal Group Hall of Fame -- inducted 2001
In 1998 Gladys Knight celebrated her 50th anniversary of sharing with the world her gifts of voice and spirit. Georgia born, Knight began performing gospel music at age four in her church and as a special guest soloist with the Morris Brown College Choir. At age seven, she won Ted Mack's "Amateur Hour" (the 50's TV version of today's "American Idol") and its $2,000 grand prize. At age eight - following encouragement by parents - she, brother Bubba, sister Brenda, and cousins William and Elenor Guest formed a "little group" called The Pips - "Pips" coming from their manager, cousin James "Pip" Woods.
In 1959, Brenda and Elenor left the group, replaced by cousin Edward Patten and friend, Langston George and the group became Gladys Knight and The Pips. Following Langston's departure in 1962, Gladys Knight & The Pips remained a quartet until 1989 when they decided to pursue different career paths. (The Pips have since disbanded.)
Gladys Knight talks enthusiastically about each of her songs as she describes the people and landscape in great detail, including the subtlest motivations that animate the characters. "When I write," says Gladys, "I try to paint a picture in my mind rather than come up with words that rhyme. I could never do a song that I didn't believe in." "I'm aware of the fact that my music touches people's lives on a personal basis. So I have to be careful what I tell people, how I relate to them. Every song has to touch me emotionally and spiritually in some way. I couldn't do a song that I was cold
about. Even if it was a hit, it just wouldn't be a hit for me."
In the community, Gladys Knight lends her hand to philanthropic efforts including the American Cancer Society, Minority AIDS Project, programs for Battered Women and Abused Children, AMFAR, Homelessness, Hunger Prevention, and Crisis Intervention.
Gladys Knight has also been honored by numerous organizations for her dedication and selflessness to help those less fortunate. Some of these include the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Black Women of Achievement, Congress of Racial Equality, Creative Achievement, Shaw University - Honorary Doctorate Degree and B'Nai.
Hit songs include --
- Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me
- Every Beat of My Heart
- I Feel A Song (In My Heart)
- I Heard It Through The Grapevine
- I've Got To Use My Imagination
- If I Were Your Woman
- Love Overboard
- Midnight Train To Georgia
- Neither One of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)
- Save The Overtime (For Me)
- Daddy Could Swear, I Declare
- Friendship Train
- I Don't Want To Do Wrong
- On And On
- The Nitty Gritty
- Everybody Needs Love
- Letter Full Of Tears
- Love Finds Its Own Way
Gladys Knight may be available for your next special event!
..60s, ..70s, ..80s, ..90s, ..00s, ..10s
Born: ..in Georgia
May 28, 1944
Based: ..in Nevada
..in Las Vegas