Gladys Knight’s career started in the heyday of the Motown label. While not ever considered to be in the class of divas like Diana Ross, Ms Knight has a strong following and reputation among true and dedicated fans of soul music. Together with her backing vocal group, the Pips, she has recorded some of the more memorable soul standards in the genre’s history, including her signature song, “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “I heard it Through the Grapevine”, which was recorded by Marvin Gaye, but only after first being sung by Gladys Knight and the Pips.
Entering (and winning) a TV talent show at the age of seven is what started Gladys Knight out in her career of singing, and later stardom. Signing up with Motown in 1966 would be the next big step in the singer’s career. Gladys Knight and the Pips would open for Diana Ross and the Supremes and then later be removed from their tour. According to Ms Knight, this was because her singing overshadowed that of Ross.
Hit Songs by Gladys Knight and the Pips:
“Midnight Train to Georgia”
“I don’t Want to Do Wrong”
“When a Child is Born” (with Johnny Mathis)
Gladys Knight won a Golden Globe award for being the Best New Actress for 1976 for her role in Pipe Dreams. The movie was a romantic drama co-starring her husband, Barry Hankerson. Her other acting work included roles on TV in the 1980s, including a regular role on Charlie & Co, a sitcom starring Flip Wilson.
Her performance at the Florida Theater on February 18th will be a part of her farewell tour. Dionne Warwick and Tito Jackson are among the notables who will be accompanying her on stage.