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gladys knight family
The Gladys Knight Family
The Gladys Knight Family Tree shelters itself with many musical branches, but the most glowing branch is the one reserved for The Empress of Soul. A star at the age of 4, Gladys Knight joined her mother in the Gospel Choir at their hometown church of Mount Mariah Baptist Church in hot Atlanta Georgia.

The song bird’s mother, Elizabeth Knight, entered her daughter in the Ted Mack Amateur Hour a televised musical competition. After winning the competition, her mother organized the family group, Gladys Knight and the Pips that took the family of singers to Motown royalty with songs like I Heard It through the Grapevine
Who are the family members of Gladys Knight that shaped her road to become known as the Empress of Soul? Who are her parents and grandparents and other people that make of the Gladys Knight family tree and biography? Today she is dancing in the ballroom on the hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars!

Gladys Knight Biography
Gladys Maria Knight (b.May 18, 1944 [Atlanta, Georgia])
Parents : [father - Merald Woodlow Knight Sr.] and [mother - Sarah (nee Woods) Knight] Gladys grew up in Atlanta Georgia singing in the gospel choir next to her mother. Through most of her teen and early adult years to sang lead in the group, Gladys Knight and the Pips. She married her first husband, Jimmy Newman and took some time off from performing to raise her two children, Jimmy Newman III and Kenya Newman. The marriage to her high school sweetheart did not last. She went on to marry 3 more times and overcame a gambling addiction. Today she is a solo act which includes some acting roles and now is competing on Dancing with the Stars.

Gladys Knight Family Tree
Gladys Knight Mother - Sarah Elizabeth (nee Woods) Knight
  (b. B. 1908 [Georgia] - d. Jan 1988 [Nevada])

Born into a large family in Newark, New Jersey, Cissy Houston is most known for her gospel singing talent. In 1938, her equally talented siblings, Ann, Larry, Nick and herself formed the Drinkard Four, a youth Gospel group. Later the grouped added their younger sister, Lee (mother of Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick), joined the group forcing the group name change to the Drinkard Singers.

Elizabeth Knight lived her life for her family and the church. Her voice only rang inside the walls of her church in Atlanta, but she helped fulfill her children’s dreams of singing on a bigger stage. Elizabeth presented the idea of forming Gladys Night and the Pips. First she brought together her daughter Gladys, her son Merald ”Bubba”, daughter Brenda and niece and nephew, William and Eleanor. The group toured around and rocketed the billboard charts in the 1960s and 1970s. Elizabeth managed the groups’ tour dates and finances. Elizabeth Knight also inspired the young members of the Pips with encouraging messages to keep forging on through long weeks and months on the road.

Elizabeth also worked as a health care provider. Her medical knowledge helped her live with a diabetes diagnosis from the age of 30 for another 50 years. Living to the age of 80 was unheard of in the 1930s because many did not live beyond the age of 50.

Maternal Grandparents :
f: Bee Woods (b. 1890)
m: Susie (nee Carlisle) Woods (b. 1895)

Gladys Knight Father - Merald Woodlow Knight Sr. (b. Feb. 27, 1913 [Georgia] - ?)
Gladys Knight’s father, Merald, did not approve of his daughter’s singing career because he felt she was too young, but of course he was overruled by his dominant wife, Elizabeth. Gladys wrote a song about her father that she performed with the Pips titled, “Daddy Could Swear, I Declare!” The song tells of his lack of education, wild temper, and endearing love for his family. Merald Knight Sr supported his family as a postal worker.

Maternal Grandparents :
f: Samuel Lee Knight (b. 1885)
m: Sallie Knight (b. 1885)

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