Gladys Knight Net Worth 2022 – How Did She Get Rich?

Gladys Knight Net Worth

Gladys Knight has an estimated net worth of $28 million. Singer Gladys Knight has given voice to multiple R&B hits (with and without her Pips), including “Midnight Train to Georgia.”  She earns most of her income from album sales, concerts and music streaming. 

Gladys Knight began singing with her siblings at the age of eight, dubbed “the Pips.” In the 1950s, the group opened for R&B legends, then moved to Motown and transitioned to pop music. They recorded their signature song, “Midnight Train to Georgia,” as Gladys Knight and the Pips. In 1989, Knight left the Pips and went on to perform and record as a solo artist. She is now affectionately known as the “Empress of Soul.”

To calculate the net worth of Gladys Knight, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Gladys Knight
Net Worth: $28 Million
Monthly Salary: $300 Thousand
Annual Income: $5 Million
Source of Wealth: Singer-songwriter, Actor, Author, Businessperson

Early Years

Gladys Maria Knight, a singer and actress, was born on May 28, 1944, in Atlanta, Georgia, and began her career at a young age. At the age of four, she made her solo debut at Atlanta’s Mount Mariah Baptist Church. Soon after, she was awarded a prize for her performance on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour.

In 1952, an eight-year-old Knight formed “the Pips” with her brother and sister, Merald (“Bubba”) and Brenda, as well as two cousins, Elenor and William Guest (another cousin, Edward Patten, and Langston, were also members).

After Brenda and Elenor left to marry, George joined the group; George left by 1960). The group quickly gained a following on the so-called “Chitlin Circuit” in the South, opening for popular acts such as Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke, with young Gladys providing throaty vocals and the Pips providing impressive harmonies and inspired dance routines.

The Pips

While their first single, “Whistle My Love,” was released by Brunswick in 1957, the Pips didn’t have a true hit until 1961, with “Every Beat of My Heart.” But it wasn’t until the group signed with Motown Records in the mid-1960s and collaborated with songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield that their careers took off.

The Pips’ version of Whitfield’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” later a big hit for Marvin Gaye, crossed over from the rhythm and blues charts to the pop charts in 1967. Their popularity grew as a result of the success of singles such as “Nitty Gritty,” “Friendship Train,” and “If I Were Your Woman,” as well as touring with the Motown Revue and numerous TV appearances.

Knight and the Pips left Motown in 1973 for Buddah Records, an Arista subsidiary (the group later took Motown to court for unpaid royalties). In 1973, their final Motown single, “Neither of Us Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye,” became the Pips’ first No. 1 crossover hit and earned them a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance.

With a smoother, more accessible sound, a hit album, Imagination (1973), and three gold singles: “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” and the Grammy Award-winning No. 1 hit “Midnight Train to Georgia,” the group — now officially known as Gladys Knight and the Pips — was riding higher than ever during the mid-1970s (Best R&B Vocal Performance).

Curtis Mayfield wrote the songs for the group’s 1974 soundtrack for the film Claudine, which resulted in the hit single “On and On.” Knight’s hit version of Marvin Hamlisch’s “The Way We Were,” also popularized by Barbra Streisand, appeared on their next album, I Feel a Song (1975), and the album’s title track became a No. 1 soul hit.

In the summer of 1975, Knight and the Pips hosted their own TV special, and in 1976, Knight appeared in the film Pipe Dreams, for which she and the Pips also recorded the soundtrack album. She later co-starred in the 1985-86 sitcom Charlie & Co. with comedian Flip Wilson. Due to legal issues with Buddah, Knight and the Pips were forced to record separately in the late 1970s, though they continued to perform live together.

Following a new contract with Columbia, the group released three reunion albums in the early 1980s, About Love (1980), Touch (1982), and Visions (1983), scoring hits with singles such as “Landlord” (produced by the ace songwriting team Ashford and Simpson), “Save the Overtime for Me,” and “You’re Number One.”

After signing with MCA Records, Knight and the Pips released their final album, All Our Love, in 1988, which included the Grammy-winning single “Love Overboard.” The following year, Knight left the Pips to pursue a solo career, recording the title song for the James Bond film Licence to Kill (1989) and the album A Good Woman (1990), which featured Dionne Warwick and Patti Labelle as guests.

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Later Projects

Knight continued to tour and record throughout the 1990s, producing the successful 1994 album Just For You and earning acclaim for her consistently strong vocals and hardworking performance style. Aside from her musical career, she had a recurring role on the 1994 TV series New York Undercover. Knight has also appeared on JAG and Living Single. She made her film debut in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself in 2009.

While she is no longer a chart-topping success, Knight, affectionately known as the “Empress of Soul,” continues to make records. She once said: “Because I’ve been so generously blessed, I want to give back and make the world a better place. So, whenever I have the opportunity to share the gospel or uplift people, I will seize it.” Knight worked with the Saints United Voices on her successful 2005 gospel album One Voice. Before Me, Knight’s 2006 album, was also well received.

In 2012, Knight decided to try out for a different kind of role, joining the cast of the popular television competition Dancing with the Stars and strutting her stuff against the likes of actress Melissa Gilbert, actor Jaleel White, and TV personality Sherri Shepherd. Two years later, she released Where My Heart Belongs, a gospel-infused studio album.

Knight was announced to sing the national anthem before Super Bowl LIII in early 2019.

Personal Life and Spouses

At the age of 16, Knight married her first husband, an Atlanta musician named Jimmy Newman. The couple had two children, James and Kenya, before Newman, a drug addict, left the family and died a few years later. Her second marriage, to Barry Hankerson, ended in divorce after a five-year custody battle over their son, Shanga. In 1995, Knight married author and motivational speaker Les Brown; their marriage ended in 1997.

In addition to a turbulent love life, Knight battled a serious gambling problem for more than a decade. After losing $45,000 in one night at the baccarat table in the late 1980s, Knight joined Gamblers Anonymous, which helped her kick the habit.

Knight has lived in Las Vegas since 1978, near her mother, Elizabeth, and two of her children and their families. She still performs frequently in Las Vegas and elsewhere, and in 1997, she published her memoir, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Pips in 1996 and received the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.

Knight married William McDowell in April 2001, a corporate consultant she allegedly met ten years before but had only begun dating the previous January.

Further Reading

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How To Become Rich Like Gladys Knight?

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