A professional musician since she was in grammar school more than 55 years ago, Atlanta’s Gladys Knight has sung soul, R&B, gospel, show tunes, jazz, adult contemporary, disco and even a James Bond theme song, both with and without her trusty Pips. When she was only 7 years old, the singer won the '50s version of "American Idol," "Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour" TV show. Just a year later, she formed a group called the Pips with her brother Merald ("Bubba") and her two cousins William and Elenor Guest. Several years later, Elenor left the Pips to be replaced by another Knight cousin, Edward Patten, and family friend Langston George, and the group began to tour. In the early '60s, they recorded for minor labels, but in 1966, were signed to Motown Records, where their hits included "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "If I Were Your Woman," and the Grammy Award-winning "Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye)."
In 1973, the group moved to Buddah Records and earned their second Grammy and first No. 1 pop hit, "Midnight Train to Georgia." Knight began a career as a solo artist without the Pips in the late '70s, and for more than 40 years since, she has maintained a rigorous schedule of touring and recording multiple styles of music. She did reunite with the Pips in 1987 for one album, "All Our Love," which yielded the hit "Love Overboard" and garnered a third Grammy for the native Georgians.
Knight has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including induction into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and in 1995, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.