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Gladys Knight
Gladys Knight.jpg
Background information
Birth name Gladys Maria Knight
Also known as The Empress of Soul
Born May 28, 1944 (1944-05-28) (age 77)
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Genres R&B, soul, gospel
Occupation(s) singer-songwriter, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian, author
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1952–present
Labels Vee-Jay, Motown, Buddah, Columbia, MCA, Verve
Associated acts Gladys Knight & the Pips, Brandy Norwood

Gladys Maria Knight (born May 28, 1944) is an American singer, actress and songwriter. She is called the "Empress of Soul", She was the lead singer of the music group The Pips.

Personal life

Knight has been married four times and given birth to three children. In 1960, Knight married her high school sweetheart, James Newman. Gladys gave birth to their son, James III (1962–1999). In 1963 daughter Kenya was born. Newman and Knight divorced in 1973. She married producer and Blackground Records founder Barry Hankerson in 1974. They had one son, Shanga Hankerson, and divorced in 1981. She married motivational speaker Les Brown in 1995. They separated and divorced in 1997. Also in 1997, she was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, following her son and daughter. Knight married current husband, William McDowell, in 2001.

Awards, honors and achievements

  • Grammy Awards
    • 1986 Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal – "That's What Friends Are For" – Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder.
    • 2001 Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album – "At Last"
    • 2004 Best Gospel Performance – "Heaven Help Us All" – Ray Charles & Gladys Knight.
    • 2005 Best Gospel Choir Or Chorus Album – One Voice – Gladys Knight & The Saints Unified Voices.
  • Other awards
    • 1992 Gladys Knight was awarded an Essence Award for Career Achievement.
    • 1995 Gladys Knight was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
    • 1997: Gladys Knight received the Pinnacle Award during 5th Annual Trumpet Awards presentation in Atlanta, Georgia.
    • 2005: Gladys Knight received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the BET cable network.
    • 2006: Gladys Knight received a Legendary Award from the Las Vegas Music Awards.
    • 2007: Gladys Knight received Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Artist during The 38th NAACP Image Awards.
    • 2007: Gladys Knight was declared the "Empress of Soul" and presented with the 16th Annual Ella Award by the Society of Singers.
    • 2008: Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder were presented with the Best Living Legend Award at the 1st Annual The BET Honors.
    • 2008: Gladys Knight received the Lifetime Diva Award at the Stardust Music Awards in March.
    • 2008: Gladys Knight was honored by The National Black Arts Festival and The Coca Cola Company at the 2008 Legends Celebration.
    • 2009: Gladys Knight was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

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