She is a seven-time Grammy award winner, a recipient of Black Entertainment Television's Lifetime Achievement Award and one of 25 African-American women Oprah honored in 2006 as a "Legend!" Gladys Knight talks to Gayle about her 50-plus years in the music industry, her career with the Pips, and her marriage and family.
Best known as the lead singer of the musical group Gladys Knight and the Pips, Gladys says she has always loved singing, and feels blessed to be a part of the music industry. Despite her illustrious career in music, she plays down the idea that she is a superstar. "I see myself as just doing what I was called to do," she says.
Gladys tells Gayle she and her three siblings grew up with parents that supported their passions. "They just believed in trying to recognize whatever talents each one of their children had and keeping them busy doing it because they would enjoy doing it. So I grew up with that philosophy." Gladys says her mother always stressed the importance of staying grounded. "'He gave you a gift,' she would always say. 'Use it and use it wisely. Don't get caught up in where it will take you.' So that's the way I've tried to live all my life and keep my feet on the ground because this stuff can wipe you out."
Gladys says she was touched when she was honored at the Oprah's Legends Weekend event. "Actually I wanted to cry to tell the truth," Gladys tells Gayle. "I wish [listeners] could know what that weekend was like, really. … There was a spirit there that you could cut, literally feel. And I thank [Oprah] from the bottom of my heart, for including me. I've always loved her, respected her, and given her the utmost respect for what she has done."
Today, Gladys lives in Las Vegas with her husband, William, and says she is loving life—especially doting on her 11 grandchildren. "I love them; they love me!"