Gladys Maria Knight dubbed the “Empress of Soul,” is a successful American singer, composer, actor, and businesswoman. She rose to prominence as the lead vocalist of Gladys Knight & the Pips, a family group that included her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight and cousins William Guest and Edward Patten.
Knight’s illustrious career spanned the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and she had multiple chart-topping successes during that time.
Gladys Knight was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to postal worker Merald Woodlow Knight Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth (née Woods). She had an older sister named Brenda, one live brother named Merald “Bubba” Jr., and one deceased brother named David when she was growing up.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Knight demonstrated her vocal prowess by singing in her church chorus at a young age. She even won Ted Mack’s The Original Amateur Hour TV show contest when she was eight years old, in 1952.
Gladys, Bubba, Brenda, and their cousins Eleanor and William Guest performed together for the first time at Bubba’s tenth birthday celebration the same year. The performance was inspired by a broken record player, and Gladys’ mother, Elizabeth Knight, encouraged the gifted quintet to join a group.
Gladys Knight’s parents: Meet Sarah Elizabeth Woods & Merald Woodlow Knight Sr.
On May 28, 1944, Gladys Knight was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. Merald Woodlow Knight Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Woods Knight are her parents’ names. Her mother, Sarah Elizabeth Woods Knight, was a stay-at-home mom, while her father, Merald Knight Sr., worked for the post office.
Gladys Knight was raised in a musical family, and together with her brothers Brenda, Merald Jr., Kenneth, and David they created the singing group “The Pips.” Gladys Knight and the Pips went on to have a lot of success in the music business thanks to songs like “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye).”