Blackity Black History Month: ATL Icon Gladys Knight

Blackity Black History Month: ATL Icon Gladys Knight

Believe me when I say this: you can't please everyone in concert, even though I still want to. Someone always wants you to sing a song that isn't necessarily on your set list.

— The Legendary Gladys Knight

There's no question about why Atlanta icon Gladys Maria Knight (born May 28, 1944) is known as the "Empress of Soul". She is a singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, author, and seven-time Grammy Award-winner. She is well known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, but four of her seven Grammy awards were won as a solo artist.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Knight has recorded two number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles ("Midnight Train to Georgia" and "That's What Friends Are For"), eleven number-one R&B singles, and six number-one R&B albums. She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Vocal Group Hall of Fame along with The Pips. Two of her songs ("I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Midnight Train to Georgia") were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant" value. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Knight among the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.


Each day this month, we'll be sharing wise words from Black Atlanta icons — some who are household names and some who you may not know. Atlanta history IS Black history, and this is our way of sharing it.