Gladys Knight

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Gladys Knight, known as the “Empress of Soul,” will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at Peabody Auditorium.

The great ones endure, and Gladys Knight has long been one of the greatest. Very few singers over the last fifty years have matched her unassailable artistry. The seven-time Grammy award winner has enjoyed number one hits in pop, R&B and adult contemporary. She has triumphed in film, television and live performances as well. In 2014, Knight released “Where My Heart Belongs,” which won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Gospel Album.

Knight began performing professionally at the age of four. In 1959, she and her brother, Bubba, formed the Pips, and in 1960 the group debuted their first album. The group was renamed Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1962 and the classic lineup was in place. With Knight singing lead and the Pips providing lush harmonies and graceful choreography, the group went on to record some of the most memorable songs of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Top 20 hits, including “Every Beat of My Heart,” “Letter Full of Tears,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” and “If I Were Your Woman” set the stage for an amazing run in the mid-1970s, with Top 10 gold-certified singles including “Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye),” “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” “Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me” and the number one smash hit “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Knight enjoyed another number one hit in 1985 when she teamed up with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Dionne Warwick on “That’s What Friends Are For.”