The Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Story of Gladys Knight: “The Empress of Soul”

Most people can’t mention the name Gladys Knight without including a reference to The Pips. Gladys Knight and the Pips consisted of her brother and cousins, and performed together from the 1950’s-1980’s. Their trademark song was the #1 hit “Midnight Train to Georgia,” which won a GRAMMY in 1973 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Knight eventually parted ways with The Pips in 1989 and continues to perform as a solo artist.

Today, Knight is known as the “Empress of Soul,” and has recorded with notable artists such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Johnny Mathis and the late Ray Charles. Knight has won a slew of awards including four GRAMMY Awards, and has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

Knight joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1997 and has said, “Since I've been so wonderfully blessed, I really want to share and to make life at least a little better. So every chance I get to share the gospel or uplift people, I will take full advantage of that opportunity.”

In 2000, Knight was the first musical guest in the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concerts. She performed such songs as “Mary’s Boy Child,” and “Sweet Little Jesus.” She now directs her own gospel choir, Saints Unified Voices, which scored a #1 album on the Billboard Gospel charts. The album, One Voice, prevailed on the top of the charts for 48 weeks.

In 2012, at age 67, Knight stepped into new territory on the television show Dancing With the Stars. Known for her cheerful and sometimes self-deprecating personality, she once said, “Well, I never danced with the 'Pips' - they didn't let me dance!” The show gave her the chance to do just that; in front of millions of people. For videos and information about Gladys Knight, see her guest artist page on our website.