The Empress of Soul
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 winner has enjoyed #1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary, and has triumphed in film, television and live performance.
Knight who is a tw0-time Grammy winner in the gospel category, yet again embraced her gospel roots, releasing her inspirational album “Where My Heart Belongs”, in September 2014. The album was a major success and won an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Gospel Album.”
Knight, known as the “Empress of Soul,” a longtime Las Vegas resident, returned to the Strip in the late-2000s to the famed Tropicana Hotel for a special engagement that ran in the newly named Gladys Knight Theater, making her the first African-American performer to have a venue named after her in Las Vegas. This followed a successful four-year show run at The Flamingo, which the Las Vegas Review-Journal praised as “the number-one show on the Strip.” A tireless humanitarian, Knight is an iconic supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of America, to which she donated a Randy Jackson-produced song, “The Dream.” As the celebrated singer of the timeless song “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Knight was a natural fit as national spokesperson and host of Amtrak’s National Train Day, the celebration of which took place Washington, DC’s famed Union Station.
Adding to her already impressive collection, Knight won another Grammy for her duet with the late Ray Charles on his posthumous album Genius Loves Company (2005). The duo won for Best Gospel Performance for their duet “Heaven Help Us All.” Knight’s solo album At Last also won a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album in 2002 and featured a duet with Jamie Foxx, “I Wanna Be Loved.” During the televised opening ceremonies kicking off the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Knight performed “This is Our Time” (which she co-wrote with husband William McDowell), which was featured on a commemorative Olympic album.
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” (a line taken from her million selling recording “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”), in 1997, and the next year, she and The Pips were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004, Knight received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the annual BET Awards ceremony.