As the “Empress of Soul,” Gladys Maria Knight is a well-known American singer, composer, actor, and businesswoman. She rose to recognition as the main vocalist of the family group Gladys Knight & the Pips, which also included her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight, cousins William Guest and Edward Patten, and was founded on May 28, 1944.
Over the course of her lengthy career, which spanned the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Knight produced a number of hits that reached the top of the charts.
Gladys Knight was born in Atlanta to Merald Woodlow Knight Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth (née Woods), both postal workers. She grew up with an elder sister named Brenda, a brother named Merald “Bubba” Jr. who is still alive, and a brother named David who has since passed away.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Knight began singing in her church choir at a young age, showcasing her vocal prowess. She even won the coveted Ted Mack’s The Original Amateur Hour TV show contest when she was eight years old in 1952.
The first time Gladys, Bubba, Brenda, and their cousins Eleanor and William Guest performed together was at Bubba’s ninth birthday celebration that same year. Due to a broken record player that caused the performance, the gifted quintet decided to establish a group at Gladys’ mother Elizabeth Knight’s suggestion.
Gladys Knight siblings: Meet Merald Knight Jr.
One of Gladys Knight’s siblings is Merald Woodlow “Bubba” Knight Jr. He was a member of the R&B/soul group “Gladys Knight & the Pips” and was born on September 4, 1942.