She is the fifth Motown artist to receive the honor!
Gladys Knight will be awarded for her lifetime achievements at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors, Vibe reports.
A legendary singer, Knight has been giving us timeless classics for the last six decades. Her group, Gladys Knight & the Pips, had a remarkable run on Motown Records, producing hits like “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye).” The latter earned the group a Grammy in 1973, making history as the first group to ever win the award in pop and R&B simultaneously, taking home another one for “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Knight has won a total of seven Grammys across pop, R&B and Gospel and garnered numerous accolades over the course of her illustrious career.
Now she is being honored by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors. Knight will be awarded for her lifetime artistic achievements alongside other honorees including U2, George Clooney, Amy Grant, and composer Tania Leòn. Knight said she is “humbled” by the honor.
“I’m humbled beyond words to be included amongst this prestigious group of individuals, both past and present. You could never have told me as a young girl starting my career that I would be honored on a stage such as this, with artists and humanitarians such as these – it just wouldn’t have seemed possible. It would have been the dream of all dreams. I have been blessed with so much in my life and this certainly stands with those achievements at the top of that list,” she said via statement.
Knight joins a long list of Kennedy Center honorees that include Earth, Wind & Fire, the first Black musical group to receive the honor, and LL Cool J, the first rap artist to receive the honor. She is also in good company among her Motown Records family, becoming the fifth Motown artist to receive the prestigious honor alongside Stevie Wonder (1999), Smokey Robinson (2006), Diana Ross (2007), and Lionel Richie (2017). Motown Records Founder Berry Gordy Jr. also received the honor in 2021. Knight thanked her fans for all their support over the years, calling the award a career highlight.
“To be honored as a Kennedy Center Honoree is among the highlights of my career. I stand here with my fans, my family, my friends, my team, and my faith in accepting such an amazing distinction. It is dedicated to all those who paved the path for me to be able to accomplish the wonderful blessings I’ve been able to receive. The Kennedy Center’s commitment to the arts is unparalleled and I am so very grateful for this moment,” Knight said.
Congratulations Ms. Knight! Because of you, we can!
Photo Courtesy of GladysKnight.com