How Old Is Gladys Knight: “Empress of Soul” Gladys Maria Knight (born May 28, 1944) is an American singer, actress, and entrepreneur. Seven-time Grammy winner Gladys Knight & the Pips featured her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight and cousins William Guest and Edward Patten on their successes during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
To date, Knight has had eleven number-one R&B singles and six number-one R&B albums, in addition to two number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles (“Midnight Train to Georgia” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” which she recorded alongside Dionne Warwick, Sir Elton John, and Stevie Wonder).
She has been inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame with The Pips, and she has won a total of seven Grammy Awards (four as a solo artist and three with the Pips).
I Heard It Through the Grapevine and Midnight Train to Georgia, two of her songs, were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for their “historical, creative, and significant” worth. In 1989, she sang the Bond theme song for Licence to Kill. The music publication Rolling Stone named Knight one of the 100 Best Singers of All Time.
Where Did Gladys Knight Grow Up?
Merald Woodlow Knight Sr. worked as a mail carrier, and Sarah Elizabeth (née Woods) gave birth to Knight in Atlanta. She is the younger sibling of Brenda, and her brothers Merald “Bubba” Jr. and David, are both dead. She had been a part of the church choir since the 1940s, and her singing career began then.
In 1952, at the tender age of eight, she triumphed in Ted Mack’s The Original Amateur Hour television show contest. After a record player malfunctioned at Bubba’s tenth birthday party the same year, Gladys, Bubba, Brenda, and their cousins Eleanor and William Guest began performing together. Elizabeth Knight, Gladys’ mother, soon had the five agree to create a band.
They decided to call themselves The Pips after their cousin James “Pip” Woods’s moniker. In 1955, they began performing at local talent shows in their native Atlanta, where they promptly swept the board. Following their breakthrough, Brunswick Records offered them a recording contract in 1957.
The group had two albums issued by Brunswick, neither commercially successful. Despite this, the band soon opened for major R&B stars like Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke. When Brunswick stopped supporting The Pips in 1959, members Brenda Knight and Eleanor Guest left to start families.
Edward Patten, a second cousin, and Langston George, a family friend, took their places. Johnny Otis wrote “Every Beat of My Heart,” which they recorded in 1961. Due to the lack of a record label, the local Atlanta label Huntom Records promoted the single, which secured a distribution contract with Vee-Jay Records.
The band relocated to the Big Apple to try out for Bobby Robinson at Fury Records. When Robinson discovered that “Every Beat of My Heart” was getting popular but that the group was shortchanged on royalties, he had The Pips record a new version of the song and released it on Fury Records.
Both versions charted on Billboard, with the Huntom/Vee-Jay collaboration peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Gladys Knight & the Pips were formerly known as Gladys Knight but altered their moniker for their reissue on Fury Records.
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The group’s 1961 single “Letter Full of Tears” peaked in the top 40 in early 1962. In 1962, after a series of singles for Fury Records, Langston George decided to leave the band. Knight left the band that year to establish a family with her husband, musician Jimmy Newman.
A year later, in 1964, she was back with the band, and they signed to Larry Maxwell’s Maxx label, where Van McCoy oversaw the production of a string of minor hits that included “Lovers Always Forgive” and “Giving Up” in its original form.
“(There Will Never Be) Another Love,” “Either Way I Lose,” “Go Away, Stay Away,” “Maybe Maybe Baby,” “Stop and Get a Hold of Myself,” “Who Knows,” and “If I Should Ever Fall in Love” are just a few of the other songs they published on Maxx.
How Old Is Gladys Knight?
Gladys Knight, now 78 years old, was born on May 28, 1944, in Oglethorpe, Georgia. She began her singing career at 4 when she performed at the Mount Mariah Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
How Did Gladys Knight Strat Her Solo Music Career?
Gladys Knight won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for their 1985 AIDS benefit record “That’s What Friends Are For,” which also included Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John while she was still a member of the Pips.
For the 1986 HBO program Sisters in the Name of Love, Knight performed alongside Dionne Warwick and Patti LaBelle. At Wrestlemania 4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 27, 1988, Knight sang “America the Beautiful.”
She had a top ten hit in the UK and Germany with the song “Licence to Kill,” which she recorded in 1989 for the James Bond film of the same name. Good Woman, Knight’s third and most successful solo LP, was released on MCA in 1991.
The album peaked at No. 1 on the R&B chart and featured the No. 2 R&B hit “Men.” It also peaked at No. 45 on the main Billboard album chart, her highest-charting record. Another Grammy-nominated track from the album was “Superwoman,” which Babyface wrote and on which Dionne Warwick and Patti LaBelle sang.
Having a ball at the #USOpen …. Great seeing you @anthonyanderson pic.twitter.com/Hi8dA4bqRg
— Gladys Knight (@MsGladysKnight) August 30, 2022
This was the same year that “I Don’t Do Duets,” from LaBelle’s album Burnin’, featured a collaboration between Knight and LaBelle. In 1991, Knight sang the national anthem during the first World Series game. Just for You, her fourth solo effort, went Gold and earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album in 1995.
The Mormon chorus Saints Unified Voices was founded by Knight, who also serves as its director. SUV has recorded a Grammy-winning album named “One Voice,” and they occasionally play at LDS church firesides.
With Ashanti, Cyndi Lauper, Jessica Simpson, Joss Stone, Debbie Harry, and Patti LaBelle, Knight co-headlined the VH1 benefit event Divas Live 2004 in April 2004 to raise money for the Save the Music Foundation.
Ray Charles’ 2005 duet album, Genius & Friends, featured a cover of Knight and Charles’ “You Were There” as a duet. At Radio City Music Hall in New York City in the spring of 2008, Knight performed alongside Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, and Diana Ross for a benefit event for heart disease research.
Similarly, in 2008, Gladys, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., and Ben Stiller all had charity performances on American Idol. At Michael Jackson’s funeral in 2009, Knight sang “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”
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Emma is a Master of Science candidate at the California Institute of Technology. Since approximately four years ago, she has been a freelance writer, producing content for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and the internet