Gladys Maria Knight, born May 28, 1944, known as the “Empress of Soul,” is a singer, actress, businesswoman, and author. Knight is a seven-time Grammy Award-winner, who is known for the hits she recorded in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s with her music group, Gladys Knight and the Pips, consisting of her brother, Merald “Bubba” Knight and cousins Edward Patten and William Guest.

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Knight has released two number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles (“Midnight Train to Georgia” and “That is What Friends Are For”), eleven number-one R&B singles, and six number-one R&B collections. She has won seven Grammy Awards (four as a solo artist and three with the Pips) and is an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside The Pips. She additionally recorded the signature melody for the 1989 James Bond film License to Kill. Knight is additionally recorded as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

She is what you would call an influencer if social media was around back then. She inspired many for generations after her, even those in the Hip Hop community.


Here are 10 songs that sample the legendary Gladys Knight:

1. Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It All Be Simple” samples “The Way We Were” by Gladys Knight and the Pips

2. Freeway also sampled “The Way We Were” for his 2007 song “When They Remember”

3. The intro for “Don’t Burn the Bridge” may sound familiar to you because it’s the same intro of Lil Wayne’s “A Milli.”

4. Kanye West also sampled “Don’t Burn the Bridge” for his record “Doing Fine (Peace)”

5. 50 Cent sampled “The Makings of You”