The Empress of Soul – Gladys Knight
The great ones endure, and Gladys Knight [b. 1944] has long been one of the greatest. That’s why I was particularly honored when I was granted access to one of her concerts in my native Denmark and shoot these images.
My mother has been a lifelong fan so I grew up with Gladys Knight’s instantly identifiable voice - smooth and raspy, like sand in honey, with its signature vocal catch somewhere between a chuckle and a sob - floated out from somewhere in the wings.
Very few singers over the last fifty years have matched Knight’s unassailable artistry. She is a seven-time Grammy winner and has enjoyed #1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary, and has triumphed in film, television and live performance.
Gladys Knight is particually known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, which included her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight and cousins Edward Patten and William Guest.
Knight has recorded two number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles ("Midnight Train to Georgia" and "That's What Friends Are For"), eleven number-one R&B singles, and six number-one R&B albums. She is an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with The Pips.
She also recorded the theme song for the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill. Knight is also listed as one of Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.