Gladys Knight

"I Can Do Bad All by Myself" New York Premiere - Arrivals

Knight in 2009, photo by

Birth Name: Gladys Maria Knight

Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 28, 1944

Ethnicity: African-American

Gladys Knight is an American singer, songwriter, actress, businessperson, humanitarian, and author. She is known as the “Empress of Soul.”

Gladys is the daughter of Sarah Elizabeth and Merald Woodlow Knight. She is married to William McDowell. She has two children with her former husband, musician James “Jimmy” Newman; and a son with her former husband, music producer Barry Hankerson. Barry is the uncle of singer and actress Aaliyah. Gladys became a Mormon (member of the LDS church) in 1997.

Gladys’s paternal grandfather was Samuel Lee Knight (the son of Henry Knight and Adelia Wilkins). Samuel was born in Georgia.

Gladys’s paternal grandmother was Sallie Merritt (the daughter of Melvin William Merritt and Permelia Amelia Fannie Nix). Sallie was born in Georgia.

Gladys’s maternal grandfather was Bee Woods (the son of Alexander/Alex/Alec Woods/Wood and Ella W. Faver). Bee was born in Georgia. Alexander was the son of Mary. Ella was the daughter of Louis Davis Faver and Martha Anne/Ann Howard.

Gladys’s maternal grandmother was Susie Carlisle (the daughter of Charles/Charlie Carlisle and Annie L. Moody). Susie was born in Alabama. Charles was the son of Elick Carlisle and Ann.

Sources: Genealogy of Gladys Knight –

Gladys’ father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Gladys’ mother on the 1920 U.S. Census –

3 Responses

  1. fuzzybear44 says:

    R.I.P to her Cousin one of the Pips (William Guest)

  2. fuzzybear44 says:

    @ ethnic

    It’s a better picture,thank you

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