Gladys Maria Knight was born on May 28, 1944, her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight, Jr. on September 4, 1942 and her cousin, William Guest on July 2, 1941. Edward “Eddie”Roy Patten was born on August 2, 1939, each of them from Atlanta. Together they are one of the most successful recording acts of the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s.
At just seven years of age, Gladys Knight won Ted Mack’s televised Amateur Hour. At fourteen Gladys and family members signed with Brunswick Records with little success.
In the summer of 1961, Gladys Knight & the Pips tasted their first #1 R&B hit, “Every Beat of My Heart”, it also landed on the top ten of the pop charts. “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” peaked at #2 in 1967, followed by “If I Were Your Woman” in 1970. “Neither One Of Us” reached #2 in 1973 and Gladys & the Pips topped the pop Hit Parade with their first #1, “Midnight Train To Georgia” in 1973, followed by three more top five hits, “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination,” “Best Thing That Could Ever Happen To Me” and “On and On”.
Joining Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and others in 1985, Gladys Knight again hit #1 with “That’s What Friends Are For”.
With seven Grammy Awards, Gladys Knight and the Pips were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995 and were inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009.