Gladys Knight Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Joan Agie
Sep 09, 2022 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on May 27, 2022
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Shivangi Singh
Discover more interesting facts about famous American actress and singer Gladys Knight here at Kidadl.
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About Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight is a well-known American actress, singer, songwriter, author, and businesswoman.
Gladys Knight was born Gladys Maria Knight on May 28, 1944, in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States of America. Gladys Knight is popularly known as the 'Empress Of Soul.' 
Gladys is best known for her hit songs that she produced from the 1960s to the 1980s for the Buddah Records labels and Motown Records. She achieved success with her songs' Midnight Train To Georgia' and 'Neither One Of Us'. She is famous as a member of the group 'Gladys And The Pips'. The other group members were her two cousins, Edward Patten and William Guest, and her older brother Merald 'Bubba' Knight.
She is also popular as a seven times Grammy Awards winner.

Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What is Gladys Knight's net worth?

Gladys Knight's net worth is $28 million.

How much does Gladys Knight earn per year?

Gladys Knight's earnings per year are not known.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall is Gladys Knight?

Gladys Knight is  5 ft 3 in (161 cm) tall.

How old is Gladys Knight?

Gladys Knight 77-year-old as of 2022.

Childhood And Education

Gladys Knight was born 0n May 28, 1944, in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States of America. Her father's name is Merald Woodrow Knight Sr., who worked as a postal worker, and her mother's name is Sarah Elizabeth Woods. Gladys's real name is Gladys Maria Knight, and she is nicknamed 'Empress Of Soul.' She has three siblings two brothers, Merald Knight Jr. and David Knight, who died on December 4, 2002, and one older sister named Brenda Knight. 
Her nationality is American, and her zodiac sign is Gemini. Talking about Gladys Knight's educational background, she graduated from Shaw University with Honorary Doctorate in Performing Arts.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who is Gladys Knight's partner?

Gladys Knight has married four times in her life and has three children. In 1960, when she was 16-year-old, she married her classmate and Atlanta musician James 'Jimmy' Newman. On August 13, 1962, she gave birth to a son named James 'Jimmy' Gaston Newman III. Kenya Maria Newman, her only daughter, was born in 1963. The couple got separated in 1973, and Newman died after a few years. 
In 1974, Gladys married Barry Hankerson in Detroit, who also made blackguard records for her niece Aaliyah, an R&B singer. Gladys has one son with Barry Hankerson, whose name is Shanga Ali Hankerson. But they separated in 1979.
Again in 1995, she married Les Brown, a motivational speaker, but in 1997, they divorced. And in 2001, Gladys married William McDowell. Presently, the couple lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Gladys Knight started her career as a solo debut at the age of four by singing in the Church choir. When Gladys was 8-year-old, she won Ted Mack's Tv show 'The Original Amateur Hours' in 1952.
In 1952, she and her brothers and sister created the music group during Bubb's 10th birthday. They named the group The Pips. They started performing in different talent shows in 1955. The group has become the doorway for top recording acts like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson. 
In 1959, Langston George and Edward Patten replaced Eleanor Guest and Brendan Knight. They recorded 'Every Beat Of My heart' with Johnny Otis in 1961 and then moved to New York and Auditioned for Fury Records. They also changed the group name to Gladys Knight and The Pips. In 1966, 'Gladys And The Pips' joined Motown and recorded several hits like 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine', which Marvin Gaye later released. With their early career at Motown, they toured as the opening act for the singing group Diana Ross And The Supremes.
In 1973, they left Motown and joined Buddah Records. 'Gladys And The Pips' Recorded' Midnight Train To Georgia,' which became their signature song in 1973. In 1987, they moved to MCA Records and released their final album 'All Our Love,' but in 1988, 'The Pips' stopped working. In 1996, 'The Pips' was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. With this achievement, Gladys started her solo career too. 

Charity Work

Gladys Knight supported many charities and foundations such as Treatment Action Campaign, American Foundation for AIDS Research, and Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. Knight also contributed $400,000 to the Children's Learning Centers of Fairfield County in 2017.

What awards has Gladys Knight won?

Gladys Knight has won the seven times Grammy Awards, with two in 1973, 1986, 1988, 2001, 2004, and 2005 and has been nominated 22 times. She also won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Soul Train Music Award.

Gladys Knight's Hobbies And Interests

Gladys Knight's favorite hobbies are playing puzzle games and carrom. She loves Punjabi food and likes blues music.

Other Interesting Gladys Knight Facts And Trivia

  • Gladys Knight is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and currently lives with her husband McDowell in Asheville, North Carolina. 
  • Gladys Knight's most famous song is 'Midnight Train To Georgia.' The R&B artist Aaliyah's aunt Gladys married Detroit's Barry Hankerson.
  • Gladys is still performing; she has an upcoming 15 concerts and is touring two countries right now. 
  • In 1989, she left 'The Pips' to start her solo career; she delivered 18 singles and 11 studio albums as a solo artist. 
  • In 1986, she shared the stage with Patti Labelle at the HBO special 'Sisters In The Name Of Love.' 
  • Gladys recorded the title track 'License To kill' for a James Bond film in 1989.
  • Gladys won $2,000 as her first prize for singing 'Too Young' by Nat King Cole in 1952.

Gladys Knight Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Date of Birth




Place of Birth




161 cm

Eye Color



Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Businesswoman, Author

Net Worth



William McDowell


Sarah Elizabeth Woods, Merald Woodlow Knight, Sr.


Merald Knight Jr., Brenda Knight, David Knight
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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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