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2006 has been a great year for Gladys Knight. Earlier this year Knight won her seventh Grammy award in the category of Best Gospel Choir or Gospel Chorus for the "One Voice" CD with the Saints Unified Voices. Following that award, Knight was honored with a Legendary Award by the Las Vegas Music Awards. Now Gladys Knight is doing what she does best, performing her show-stopping hits in sold out arenas across America – springboarding from her three year stint at the Flamingo Las Vegas, where she performed to standing-room-only crowds five nights a week.
Knight was born in Atlanta, Georgia, where she began singing at the age of four with her brother and cousins at Baptist church functions. The group named themselves The Pips after cousin and manager Edward “Pip” Woods and recorded an album in 1958 with the moderately successful hits "Every Beat of My Heart" (1961) and "Letter Full of Tears" (1962). In 1966, after a few more singles and personnel changes, the group signed with Berry Gordy’s Motown label, Soul. At Motown, Gladys Knight and the Pips topped the R&B chart and reached #2 in the pop chart with their version of Marvin Gaye’s "I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” A string of R&B hits soon followed, including: “Friendship Train,” “The Nitty Gritty,” “If I Were Your Woman,” “I Don’t Want to Do Wrong,” the Grammy Award winner “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” and “Daddy Could Swear, I Declare.”
Yet with all that success, the best was yet to come. In 1973 Gladys Knight and the Pips moved the Buddah Records, where they had their biggest hit, “Midnight Train to Georgia,” a #1 hit for two weeks on the pop chart and four weeks on the R&B chart. Three more Top-10 singles quickly followed: “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” and “On and On.” In 1980, with a move to Columbia, Gladys Knight and the Pips landed two more smash singles in “Landlord” and “Save the Overtime (for Me).”
While still with The Pips, Knight teamed up with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John on the 1986 AIDS benefit single, “That's What Friends Are For” which won a Grammy for “Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.” In 1989, Gladys Knight recorded the title track for the James Bond movie License to Kill, a top 10 hit in the UK.
Gladys Knight’s third solo effort, Good Woman, was released in 1991. It rose to #1 on the R&B album chart and featured the #2 R&B hit “Men.” Her fourth solo LP, Just for You, went gold and was nominated for the 1995 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.
In 2002, Gladys Knight won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for the album At Last. Last year, she won a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance for “Heaven Help Us All,” her duet with Ray Charles and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BET cable network.
Knight is ranked number eighteen in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records' list of the most successful female musical artists of all time.