GLADYS KNIGHT FACTS:
Genre: R&B, Soul
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Albums: Miss Gladys Knight (1978); Gladys Knight (1979); Good Woman (1991); Just for You (1994); Many Different Roads (1998); At Last (2001); One Voice (2005); A Christmas Celebration (2006); Before Me (2006)
Awards: 4 Grammy Awards
Hits: "Every Beat of My Heart," "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "If I Were Your Woman," "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)," "Midnight Train to Georgia," Save the Overtime (For Me)," "Love Overboard"
Other: Also known as the "Empress of Soul."
During the heyday of Motown, there weren't many acts more popular than Gladys Knight. Affectionately known as the Empress of Soul, Knight has enjoyed a successful career as both a member of the legendary group The Pips and as a solo artist. Although she is in her mid-60s, Knight remains a favorite among fans of soul, and continues to record and release music.
Gladys Knight began performing at a very young age, and when she was 7 she earned moderate recognition for her performances on the TV show Original Amateur Hour. By the end of the 1950s she had already begun touring with The Pips, even though she was not yet 20. By the early '60s, the band became known as Gladys Knight and The Pips, and by the middle of the decade they began to hit their stride.
After toiling in obscurity for several years, The Pips gained a number of fans after a string of hits including "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," "Friendship Train" and 1972's "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)," with the latter earning the band a Grammy Award. Though the band found success in the late '60s and early '70s, it was nothing compared with what was to come.
In 1973, Knight and the Pips scored their first number one hit on the pop charts with "Midnight Train to Georgia," and it is considered to be Knight's signature track nearly 40 years after its release. Despite their popularity throughout the '70s, Knight left at the end of the decade and made her solo debut with 1979's Miss Gladys Knight. After a brief reunion with The Pips in the '80s, Knight became a full-fledged solo artist by 1987.
In 1991 she released her third solo album, Good Woman. The record was a hit as it topped the R&B charts, and kicked off a successful stretch for Knight. Over the next 10 years she continued to release records, including Just For You, which was certified gold.
More than 50 years after the forming of The Pips, Knight remains in the spotlight. In December 2010, her latest single "Settle" was made available on iTunes and Amazon. With an impressive list of singles, albums and movie roles, it's safe to say there will be nobody quite like Gladys Knight.