Gladys Knight

Knight made her singing debut at four in the Mount Mariah Baptist Church in Atlanta. In 1952, after winning a prize for her performance on the televised 'Ted Mack Amateur Hour', eight-year-old Knight formed the Pips with her brother, sister, and cousins.

The group soon earned a following on the so-called "Chitlin Circuit" in the South, opening for popular acts such as Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke.

The Pips didn't score a bona fide hit until they began recording with Motown Records in the 1960s. In 1967, the Pips' version of 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine' crossed over from the rhythm & blues charts to the pop charts.

Their popularity increased with the success of singles like 'Nitty Gritty', and with touring performances.

The group, now known as Gladys Knight and the Pips, was doing better than ever during the mid 1970s, with a smoother, more accessible sound, a hit album, 'Imagination' (1973) and three gold singles. Knight and the Pips hosted their own TV special in the summer of 1975.

Moving to MCA in 1988, Knight and the Pips released their final album together, 'All Our Love', which included the Grammy-winning single, 'Love Overboard'.

The next year, Knight launched a solo career, recording the title song for the James Bond film, 'Licence to Kill' (1989) and an album, 'A Good Woman' (1990).

Throughout the 1990s, Knight continued to tour and record, producing the successful 1994 album 'Just For You'. In addition to her musical career, she also acted in a recurring role in the 1994 TV series, 'New York Undercover'.

Knight has had three difficult marriages, and has three children. She has also suffered from a gambling addiction, which she now seems to have conquered.