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Gladys Knight

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Gladys Knight is a convert to Mormonism and has brought some soul to the relatively staid Mormon religious music scene. Dwight McCann/Chumash Casino Resort/www.DwightMcCann.com

Gladys Maria Knight is an American soul singer and actress. She was born on May 28, 1944, to Merald Woodlow Knight and Sarah Elizabeth Woods in Atlanta, Georgia. "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." [1]

When only 7, she won the Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour TV show contest. Gladys, her brother Merald, her sister Brenda, and cousins William and Eleanor Guest formed The Pips the following year. Aside from the successes that Gladys Knight and The Pips enjoyed, including #1 hits on the R&B charts over the years and an induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, Gladys has been extremely popular as a solo artist.

Knight joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1997. She occasionally teased the late LDS Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, that his flock needs to inject some "pep" into their music. Ms. Knight created and now directs the LDS (Mormon) choir Saints Unified Voices, a multi-cultural choir that predominately shares the rich African American heritage of music along with music from other cultures. SUV has released a Grammy Award-winning CD entitled One Voice, and occasionally performs at LDS stake firesides.

Dana King wrote, "Gladys Knight is one of those converts, having been a member of our faith for more than 10 years now. Using her celebrity, she has a personal mission to bridge the cultural divide within our faith, and reach out to those unfamiliar with our doctrines and beliefs.

Sister Knight said, 'You know me, I was raised to love Christ and His Gospel, I would not believe something that doesn’t testify of Him.'"

Gladys Knight is currently married to William McDowell. In addition to her performing career, she owns a chain of Chicken and Waffles restaurants based in Atlanta. She also has written several books.

Knight was selected to compete in the March 2012 season of Dancing with the Stars. [2]

“Where My Heart Belongs” received an Image Award for Outstanding Gospel Album at the 46th NAACP Image Awards on February 6, 2015. The album features ten gospel songs and was originally intended to be a Christmas CD, but Knight said, “Why should we have to wait until Christmas when Christ is here all the time?”[3] She had previously won an Image Award in 2007 for Outstanding Jazz Artist.

Gladys Knight2.jpg


  • Knight is ranked number eighteen in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records' list of the most successful female musical artists of all time.
  • Knight is ranked number eighteen on VH1 network's list of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock.
  • In 1995, Knight was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
  • She has won seven Grammy Awards.

Books by Gladys Knight

  • At Home With Gladys Knight — A Cookbook, 2001
  • Many Different Roads: A Common Path, by Jock W. Rolfe, Gladys Knight, 1998
  • Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story — Biography and Autobiography, 1997

External Links

More at MormonMusic.org