Gladys Knight is a singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman who has won many awards for her work. Her classic soul music, which has parts of Pop, R&B, Gospel, Blues, and Jazz, is very popular. Knight’s career has been long and successful.
She has sold more than 28 million records around the world and won seven Grammy Awards. Additionally, she is a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Because of her lengthy career and consistent popularity, she is often regarded as one of the most popular musicians of all time.
Gladys Knight Early Life
Gladys Maria Knight was born in Atlanta, (USA) in 1944. Her mother was a skilled organist and choir director who finally established her own church. Knight and her siblings were nurtured in a Christian church, where their mother taught them to sing and play the piano. She has two brothers and two sisters: Merald Jr. and Douglas, Brenda, and Sheila. At age four, Knight started singing in the church choir.
Gladys Knight Career
Gladys Knight is a legendary name in the history of American music. She is both a singer and composer, and her career has spanned more than half a century. Knight began her career as a child performer, signing with Motown Records at age seven after being born in Georgia in 1944. She gained fame rapidly because of her soulful, gospel-influenced singing.
Knight launched her first solo album in 1967 and enjoyed enormous success with tracks like “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye),” etc. She went on to become a superstar in the 1970s and 1980s when she was one of the most awarded musicians of all time.
1989 was the beginning of Knight’s solo career, during which he released the album Good Woman. From this album came the smash track “Love Overboard.” Since then, she has had success with the publication of many albums, and she has worked with some of the most prominent figures in the business, like Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Diana Ross, among others.
Gladys Knight In The 90’s
The 1990s were a watershed decade for Gladys Knight’s career. She had a lot of power in the music business, and her influence was felt in many different types of music. In the 1990s, she had a busy and varied career. She put out a lot of albums, went on a lot of tours, worked with other artists, and even starred in a movie.
During this time span, she recorded a total of five albums, one of which, 1993’s Just for You, achieved platinum certification. She also put out the hit singles “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “Love Overboard.” She worked along with other artists like Patti LaBelle, Elton John, and Quincy Jones, and she was included on a number of soundtracks
Gladys Knight did a lot of touring during the 1990s. She did shows in London, Hong Kong, and New York, among other big cities around the world. In addition to that, she gave performances at a number of other events, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Essence Music Festival.
Gladys came back to her roots in soul, and R&B music came in the form of the album “At Last,” which she released in 2001. This album included some of her most recognizable songs, including “I Don’t Want to Know” and “Heaven Help Us All.” The album was a huge success. It sold more than a million copies around the world, and she was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Throughout the decade of the 2000s, Knight continued to release albums and singles. She worked with well-known and up-and-coming artists like the Black Eyed Peas, and her duet with Stevie Wonder, “If I Were Your Woman,” was a huge hit. She also did shows and concerts, like the “Gladys Knight and the Pips” show.
Gladys Knight, Current Partner
Gladys could not find love easily, as she had three failed marriages. But luckily, she managed to find William McDowell. They have been together for 21 years. Gladys says that they still get into fights often, but both have faith in God, and that strong faith and belief keep them going.
Though McDowell is younger than Knight by 14 years, the gap hasn’t affected their bonding ever. Knight helped her husband to produce his debut song titled Country Water.
Knight has said in multiple interviews that the love she and McDowell have for each other has just grown with time. Their bonding is going strong, and they will remain strong together forever.
Gladys Knight Love Affairs
Knight has three children from four marriages. At 16, she got pregnant and had to marry her classmate James Newman. They had two children after her miscarriage. After Knight turned 20, Newman became a heroin addict and left the family.
Their marriage lasted till 1973. She retired from music to raise her son from her first marriage while the Pips toured. Ultimately she had to rejoin the Pips to support her family. In 1974, Knight decided to marry Barry Hankerson, who founded Blackground Records in Detroit.
They had a son together- Shanga Ali Hankerson, who was born in 1976. They moved to Atlanta in about 1977. But compatibility issues troubled their marriage. Long custody battles destroyed their marriage in 1979. Knight spent $1 million searching for her stolen son.
Knight tied the knot with Les Brown in 1995, but the marriage could last for only two years. For more than a decade, Knight was unable to control his urges to gamble. She joined Gamblers Anonymous in the late 1980s after losing thousands of dollars t and eventually kicked her gambling habit.
This was also touted to be a big reason behind her failed marriage. Until his untimely death due to heart disease in 1999 at age 36, Knight’s son Jimmy Newman handled her career via his company, Newman Management.