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C*LTURE: Gladys Knight & The Pips

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Aged 8, Gladys Knight began singing with her siblings, calling themselves 'The Pips'. With amazing harmonies and inspired dance routines the group began opening for R&B legends in the 1950s, such as Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson.

The Pips joined forces with Motown and released 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine' which later became a huge hit for Marvin Gaye. This cross over from rhythm and blues to the pop charts catapulted the group.

Leaving Motown in 1973 for Buddah Records, they were now known as Gladys Knight & the Pips. Songs such as "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" increased their popularity.

Written and produced by Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded Claudine. A soundtrack album for the 1974 film Claudine, starring James Earl Jones and Diahann Carroll.

In the late 80s, Gladys Knight left the Pips to launch a solo career. The group was together for over 3 decades, becoming one of America's most successful soul vocal groups.


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