HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Seven-time Grammy winner Gladys Knight returns with holiday cheer and timeless classics to Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for two shows on Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29 at 8 p.m.
Very few singers over the last 50 years have matched the unassailable artistry of Gladys Knight. The seven-time Grammy winner has enjoyed #1 hits in pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary and has triumphed in film, television and live performance.
This past year, she continued her winning streak in even more versatile ways. Knight raised the stakes when she put on her dancing shoes and joined the cast of ABC’s hit reality competition, Dancing with the Stars. She also enjoyed recent success playing the mother of the President on the syndicated comedy sitcom The First Family.
This fall, Knight will lend her musical expertise to CENTRIC’s new original series APOLLO LIVE. Joining judges Doug E. Fresh and Michael Bivins, the legendary songstress will give guidance to contestants as they take the stage with the hope to jumpstart their career in the entertainment industry.
Georgia-born Knight began performing gospel music at age four. Three years later, she won the grand prize on Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour, and the following year, she, along with her brother Bubba, her sister Brenda and her cousins William and Elenor Guest, formed The Pips. In 1959, Brenda and Elenor left the group, replaced by cousin Edward Patten and friend Langston George. The group was renamed Gladys Knight & The Pips, and following George’s departure in 1962, the classic line-up was in place.
The group debuted their first album in 1960 when Knight was just 16. They went on to achieve iconic status, having recorded some of the most memorable songs of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Top 20 hits like “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 like “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 #1 smash “Midnight Train to Georgia” established Gladys Knight and The Pips as the premiere pop/R&B vocal ensemble in the world. Knight enjoyed another #1 hit in 1985 when she teamed with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Dionne Warwick on “That’s What Friends Are For.” Recently, Knight reunited with her collaborators for the first time in 25 years for the anniversary of their historic “That’s What Friends Are For” performance benefiting AIDS research.
All told, Knight has recorded more than 38 albums over the years, including four solo albums during the past decade: Good Woman (1991); Just for You (1994); Many Different Roads (1999) and At Last (2001).
Her screen and stage credits include the Cable Ace Award-winning HBO’s Sisters in the Name of Love (1986), Benson, The Jeffersons, New York Undercover, JAG and Las Vegas. She’s also appeared as a guest judge on FOX’s smash hit American Idol. In 1999, she completed a starring run on Broadway in the smash musical hit Smokey Joe’s Café. Knight also enjoyed a critically-acclaimed four-year run at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which was hailed “the number-one show on the Strip” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal in the early 2000s. She recently returned to the Strip last year to the Tropicana Hotel for a special engagement that ran in the newly named Gladys Knight Theater, making her the first African-American performer to have a venue named after her in Las Vegas.
In 1995, Knight earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the next year, Gladys Knight & The Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Knight published an autobiography, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory in 1997, and the next year, she and The Pips were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
Adding to her already impressive collection, Knight won another Grammy for her duet with the late Ray Charles on his posthumous album Genius Loves Company (2005). The duo won for Best Gospel Performance for their duet “Heaven Help Us All.”
Last year saw Knight both honoring and being honored, first at a Michael Jackson tribute concert, and then at the 2011 Soul Train Awards. At the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Knight joined such performers as Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, and Smokey Robinson in a tribute to the legendary King of Pop in a concert event called “Michael Forever.” Following that, Knight was honored with a “Legend Award” alongside fellow recipients Earth, Wind & Fire on the BET broadcast of the 3rd annual Soul Train Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer.
A humanitarian and philanthropist, Knight has devoted to various worthy causes, including the American Diabetes Association – for which she is a national spokesperson, the American Cancer Society, the Minority AIDS Project, amFAR and Crisis Intervention. She has been honored by numerous organizations as well, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), B’Nai Brith, and is a recent recipient of BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award. An iconic supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of America, she just recently donated iTunes purchase proceeds from a Randy Jackson-produced song, “The Dream,” to motivate youths and support the non-profit.
Knight fans are still enjoying her last album, Before Me, which paid homage to the great legends of song – Ella, Duke, Billie, Lena – as well as the many artists who served as Knight’s friends, mentors, colleagues and inspiration throughout her career.
She is currently working on a new album with Jackson with whom she previously collaborated with on her Grammy-winning album At Last.
Tickets are $79, $64, $54 and $44*; all seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one-hour prior to show start time. *Additional fees may apply.