Gladys Maria Knight, born May 28th 1944, is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and author. She is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s with The Pips, her family group.
Knight was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up in the city's rough housing projects. Despite her childhood's hardships, she found solace in music. At the age of four, she began singing in her church choir, and by the time she was seven, she had formed her own group, The Pips.
By the age of 16, Knight had signed a recording contract with Brunswick Records and released her first single, "Every Beat of My Heart". The song was an instant hit, and she and The Pips went on to release a string of successful singles including "Letter Full of Tears," "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and "If I Were Your Woman".
In the 1970s, Knight released her first solo album, "Portrait of Gladys Knight" and began starring in various television shows and movies. She also branched out into acting, appearing in films such as "Pipe Dreams" and "The Wiz".
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Knight continued to have success as a solo artist, releasing hit albums such as "Good Woman" and "At Last". In the 2000s, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and released her autobiography, "Between Each Line of Pain and Glory", detailing her life and musical career.
In 2012, Knight was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards. She also performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Knight remains a beloved and respected figure in the music industry today. Her voice is instantly recognizable, and her music has touched millions of people. She has paved the way for countless artists, and her legacy as an icon of soul music is sure to live on for generations to come.