Best Known For
Singer Gladys Knight has given voice to multiple R&B hits (with and without her Pips), including "Midnight Train to Georgia."
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born in Georgia in 1944, Gladys Knight began singing with her siblings at age 8, calling themselves "the Pips." The group opened for R&B legends in the 1950s, then headed to Motown and crossed over to pop music. As Gladys Knight and the Pips, they recorded their signature song, "Midnight Train to Georgia." Knight left the Pips behind in 1989, and continued to perform and record as a solo artist. Today, she's known fondly as the "Empress of Soul."
"Since I've been so wonderfully blessed, I really want to share and to make life at least a little better. So every chance I get to share the gospel or uplift people, I will take full advantage of that opportunity."
Talented singer and actress Gladys Knight was born Gladys Maria Knight on May 28, 1944, in Atlanta, Georgia, and started out on the road to success at an early age. She made her solo debut at the age of 4, singing at the Mount Mariah Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Not long after, she won a prize for her performance on the televised Ted Mack Amateur Hour.
In 1952, an 8-year-old Knight formed "the Pips" with her brother and sister, Merald ("Bubba") and Brenda, and two cousins, Elenor and William Guest (another cousin, Edward Patten, and Langston George later joined the group, after Brenda and Elenor left to get married; George left by 1960). With young Gladys supplying the throaty vocals and the Pips providing impressive harmonies and inspired dance routines, the group soon earned a following on the so-called "Chitlin Circuit" in the South, opening for popular acts such as Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke.
While their first single, "Whistle My Love," was released by Brunswick in 1957, the Pips didn't score a bona fide hit until they began recording with Motown Records in the 1960s, where they were teamed with songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield. In 1967, the Pips' version of Whitfield's "I Heard it Through the Grapevine"—later a huge hit for Marvin Gaye—crossed over from the rhythm and blues charts to the pop charts. Their popularity increased with the success of singles like "Nitty Gritty," "Friendship Train" and "If I Were Your Woman," combined with touring performances with the Motown Revue and numerous TV appearances.
Knight and the Pips left Motown in 1973 for Buddah Records, a subsidiary of Arista (the group later took Motown to court for unpaid royalties). Ironically, their last Motown single, "Neither One of Us Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye," became the Pips' first No. 1 crossover hit and a Grammy winner for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 1973.
The group—now known officially as Gladys Knight and the Pips—was riding higher than ever during the mid-1970s with a smoother, more accessible sound, a hit album, Imagination (1973) and three gold singles: "I've Got to Use My Imagination," "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" and the Grammy Award-winning No. 1 hit "Midnight Train to Georgia" (Best R&B Vocal Performance). In 1974, the group recorded the soundtrack for the film Claudine, with songs written by Curtis Mayfield; the soundtrack album spawned the hit single "On and On." Their next album, I Feel a Song (1975), included Knight's hit version of Marvin Hamlisch's "The Way We Were," also popularized by Barbra Streisand; the album's title track became a No.
profile name: Gladys Knight profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Many African-Americans made their name performing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, including Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. The roster of talented artists who made their careers after a successful amateur night at the Apollo grew so large, that the venue earned a reputation as the place to jump-start the career of an ambitious hopeful. Other performers, like Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson, came to the theater after experiencing big professional success, adding further credibility to the historic New York concert hall. Explore the biographies of some of the more notable African-Americans who stepped out onto the Apollo stage, making entertainment history.
Apollo Legends 25 people in this group
Soul Train Guests 110 people in this group
presented by Soul Train Guests
Originally called Toast of the Town, The Ed Sullivan Show ran from 1948-1971 on CBS and was an American staple in the 50s and 60s. The American variety show featured the Who's Who of celebritydom over the decades, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Lucille Ball, The Jackson 5, and The Doors.
The Ed Sullivan Show Guests 215 people in this group