More Gladys Knight Bios & Profiles
Biography #2 (for Hollywood Homicide)Gladys Knight is a Grammy-winning artist who has enjoyed #1 hits in pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary, in addition to triumphs in film, television and live performance. Her 2002 solo album, At Last, won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album. She performed her ballad, This is Our Time, the first collaboration with her husband, poet William McDowell, as the Olympic torch was carried into Salt Lake City to kick off the 2002 Winter Olympics. Later that same week, Knight began an engagement at the famed Flamingo Hotel that will continue through 2005.
Born in Georgia, 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 Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, and the following year, she, along with brother Bubba, sister Brenda and cousins William and Elenor Guest, formed The Pips. In 1959, Brenda and Elenor left the group, 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. The group released its first album in 1960, when Knight was just sixteen and went on to achieve icon status via hit recordings of some of the most memorable songs of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s including Every Beat of My Heart, Letter Full of Tears, I Heard it Through the Grapevine and If I Were Your Woman, "Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye), I've Got to Use My Imagination, Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me and the #1 smash Midnight Train to Georgia. Other hits include On and On" from the Oscar-nominated soundtrack of 1974's Claudine and the #1 hit That's What Friends are For (1985) in which she teamed with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Dionne Warwick.
To date, Knight has recorded more than 36 albums, four solo albums during the past decade Good Woman (1991), Just for You (1994), the inspirational Many Different Roads (1999) and At Last (2001).
In 1986, she produced and starred in the Cable Ace Award-winning Sisters in the Name of Love, an HBO special co-starring Dionne Warwick and Patti LaBelle. That same year, she proved her acting ability when she co-starred with Flip Wilson in the CBS comedy Charlie & Co. Other acting roles followed on Benson, The Jeffersons and New York Undercover, and in such films as Pipe Dreams, An Enemy Among Us and Desperado. She recorded the title theme for the James Bond movie License to Kill in 1989 and, in 1999, completed a starring run on Broadway in the smash musical hit Smokey Joe's Café.
In 1995, Knight earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the next year, Gladys Knight & The Pips were inducted into the Rock ‘N' Roll Hall of Fame. Knight published an autobiography, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory and, a year later, she and The Pips were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
A humanitarian and philanthropist, Knight has devoted enormous energies to various worthy causes including the American Cancer Society, 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 the B'Nai Brith.
Bio courtesy Columbia Pictures for "Hollywood Homicide" (08-Jun-2003)