|(Atlanta, GA, USA)|
|Opis:||Američka pjevačica, autorica i humanitarka|
Gladys Maria Knight (born May 28, 1944), known as the ˝Empress of Soul˝,is an American singer-songwriter, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian, and author.
She is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, for both the Motown and Buddah Records labels, with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, the most famous incarnation of which also included her brother Merald ˝Bubba˝ Knight and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest.
Knight was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (née Woods) and Merald Woodlow Knight, Sr., a postal worker.
She first achieved minor fame by winning Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour TV show contest at the age of 7 in 1952.
The following year, she, her brother Merald, sister Brenda, and cousins William and Elenor Guest formed a musical group called The Pips (named after another cousin, James ˝Pip˝ Woods).
By the end of the decade, the act had begun to tour, and had replaced Brenda Knight and Eleanor Guest with Gladys Knight’s cousin Edward Patten and friend Langston George.
Knight has been married four times and gave birth to three children.
In 1960, Knight married her high school sweetheart, Jimmy Newman.
Gladys gave birth to their son, Jimmy III (1962–1999).
She retired from the road to raise the child while The Pips toured on their own.
After giving birth in 1963 to a daughter, Kenya, Knight returned to recording with the Pips in order to support her family.
Newman and Knight divorced in 1973.
She lived in Detroit neighborhood (Sherwood Forest), and her children attended Gesu Catholic Grade School.
She married producer and Blackground Records founder Barry Hankerson, who was the uncle of the late R&B singer Aaliyah, in 1974.
They had one son, Shanga Hankerson, and divorced in 1981.
She married motivational speaker Les Brown in 1995, but 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.
They have sixteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.