The great ones endure, and Gladys Knight has long been one of the greatest. Very few singers over the last fifty years have matched her unassailable artistry. This seven-time GRAMMY AwardÆ-winner has earned number one hits in Pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary, and has triumphed in film, television and live performance.
In addition to dozens of live performances throughout the year, Knight currently stars in the syndicated sitcom ìThe First Family,î on BET/CENTRIC, where she plays the mother of the President. This fall, Knight will lend her musical expertise again for the second season of CENTRIC"s original series ìApollo Live.î Joining judges Doug E. Fresh and Michael Bivins, the legendary songstress will give guidance to hopeful contestants each week. She is also currently developing several other television projects.
Other recent television and film credits include the Tyler Perry film ìI Can Do Bad All By Myself,î a cameo on the Emmy Award-winning NBC hit comedy ì30 Rock,î the holiday-themed ìHolidaze,î her first animated project to which she also contributed a track, among others. Knight also appeared as a guest judge on FOX"s smash hit ìAmerican Idol,î and performed in the show"s always star-studded finale.
Georgia-born, Knight began performing gospel music at age four in the Mount Mariah Baptist Church and sang as a guest soloist with the Morris Brown College Choir. Three years later, she won the grand prize on television"s ìTed Mack"s Amateur Hour,î and the following year, she, along with her brother Bubba, her sister Brenda and her cousins William and Elenor Guest, formed The Pips. In 1959, Brenda and Elenor left the group and were replaced by Cousin Edward Patten and friend Langston George. The group was renamed Gladys Knight & The Pips, and following George"s departure in 1962, the classic line-up was in place.
A humanitarian and philanthropist, Knight is devoted to various worthy causes, including the American Diabetes Association, for which she is a national spokesperson, the American Cancer Society, the Boys & Girls Club of America, the Minority AIDS Project amFAR and Crisis Intervention. She has been honored by numerous organizations as well, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and B"Nai Brith, among others.
Today, Knight helps oversee her busy personal entertainment corporation. She is a mother, great-grandmother, performer and a businesswoman with a spiritual outlook on life. Faith in God has been the driving force behind all of Knight"s endeavors, guiding her through her many successes.