Gladys Knight Net Worth: Biography, Career and Many More

15 mins read
Gladys Knight Net Worth

Gladys Knight Net Worth

$8 Million

Gladys Knight Net Worth
CategoryRichest Celebrities › Singers
Net Worth$8 Million
BirthdateMay 28, 1944 (79 years old)
Height5 ft 3 in (1.613 m)
ProfessionSinger-songwriter, Actor, Author, Businessperson, Humanitarian
NationalityUnited States of America

What is Gladys Knight’s Net Worth?

American singer, songwriter, actor, and businesswoman Gladys Knight net worth is $8 million. She was known as the “Empress of Soul,” with successes like “Midnight Train to Georgia” and other top R&B songs. Knight started with music at 8 when she and her siblings founded ‘The Pips.’ The band opened for Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke before succeeding at Motown and Buddah Records in 1973, when they switched to pop.

Gladys Knight and the Pips released “Midnight Train to Georgia.” in 1973. In the mid-1970s, the trio peaked with a 1975 TV special and a 1976 soundtrack for “Pipe Dreams” with Knight.

The trio released their final album, “All Our Love,” on MCA Records in 1988, containing the Grammy-winning “Love Overboard.” Gladys Knight began her solo career with recording the title single for “Licence to Kill” (1989) with Dionne Warwick and Patti Labelle.

Knight has had ups and downs personally. At 16, she married singer Jimmy Newman and had two children before Newman’s drug problems led to his abandonment and death. A custody fight over their son Shanga ended her second marriage to producer Barry Hankerson in 1979. Knight divorced Les Brown in 1997 after marrying him in 1995. She married corporate consultant William McDowell in 2001.

Gladys Knight Early Life

Gladys Knight Early Life

Gladys Knight was born on May 29, 1944, in Atlanta, Georgia, to parents Merald Woodlow Knight Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth. Her father held a position as a postal worker. Knight grew up alongside her sister and two brothers, with one of the brothers eventually passing away. The family had a strong connection to the church, and Knight spent her formative years singing in the church choir throughout the 1940s and 1950s. In 1952, she, along with one of her brothers, her sister, and their cousins, formed a group they named the Pips. The group began participating in talent shows in Atlanta, consistently winning each show they entered. Gladys Knight net worth is $8 million.

The Pips

The Pips were fired from Brunswick Records in 1959 after their 1957 debut failed to chart. They renamed themselves Gladys Knight & the Pips to recover their fortunes. Their 1961 Fury Records release, “Every Beat of My Heart,” entered the “Billboard” charts. Gladys Knight left the group in the early 1960s to establish a family but returned in 1964.

After joining Motown Records in 1966, the group had a string of singles in the 1960s and early 1970s. They left Motown for Buddah Records in 1973 for better terms. They broke through with “Midnight Train to Georgia,” which topped the R&B charts and won a Grammy. The band had hit songs until the late 1970s, when legal concerns caused their breakup.



In addition to her music career, Gladys Knight has made notable appearances in films and television shows. She took on guest roles in series such as “Benson,” “The Jeffersons,” “A Different World,” “Living Single,” and “New York Undercover.” Furthermore, Knight showcased her talent on “The Masked Singer” in 2019.

Knight’s remarkable career has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades. In 1995, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The following year, in 1996, Gladys Knight & the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2007, she received the Society of Singers ELLA Award, earning the title of the “Empress of Soul,” a designation that has remained with her throughout her career. Her name also appears on the “Rolling Stone” list of the Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2022, Knight was awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.

As of the latest information, she has won seven Grammy Awards, comprising four as a solo artist and three with the Pips, solidifying her status as a highly celebrated and influential figure in the world of music.

Solo Career

Gladys Knight embarked on her solo career, releasing her first solo LP, “Miss Gladys Knight,” with Buddah Records in 1978. Subsequently, she released “Gladys Knight” on Columbia Records in 1979. Despite the solo ventures, Knight reunited with the Pips for a brief period in the early 1980s. In 1987, the group recorded their final LP together before Gladys Knight officially launched her solo career.

Benefiting from the momentum generated by the success of the Pips, as well as the hit 1985 track “That’s What Friends Are For,” which she collaborated on with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John, Knight’s solo career gained prominence. In 1989, she recorded the theme song for the James Bond film “License to Kill.”

1991 marked the release of Knight’s most successful solo LP, “Good Woman,” which claimed the number one spot on the R&B chart. Her subsequent album, “Just for You,” received a nomination for the 1995 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. Knight continued to steadily produce music in the following years. By 2014, with the release of “Where My Heart Belongs,” she had accumulated a total of 30 top-40 R&B albums, including her work with the Pips.

Personal Life

Gladys Knight has been married four times in her life and is the mother of three children. At the age of 16, she became pregnant and married Atlanta musician and classmate James Newman in 1960, though she sadly experienced a miscarriage. The couple went on to have two children. However, when Knight was 20, Newman’s struggles with drug addiction led him to abandon the family, and despite the challenges, they remained married until 1973.

In 1974, Knight entered into marriage with Barry Hankerson, the founder of Blackground Records, and the couple welcomed a son in 1976. Unfortunately, their marriage concluded in 1979 with a dramatic divorce and an extended custody battle for their son. In 1995, Knight married motivational speaker Lee Brown, but their union ended in divorce in 1997. Finally, in 2001, she married William McDowell, and together they have seventeen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. The couple resides in Fairview, North Carolina.

Knight faced a gambling addiction for over a decade, seeking help only after losing $60,000 in one night at a baccarat table. Subsequently, she joined Gambler’s Anonymous, which played a crucial role in helping her overcome the addiction.

Raised Baptist, Knight later embraced Catholicism and was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1997. During this time, she developed a connection with LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley and humorously suggested injecting more liveliness into the church’s music. This led to the formation of the Saints Unified Voices gospel music choir, which went on to win Grammy Awards for their music. Gladys Knight net worth is $8 million.

Real Estate

In 1997, Gladys Knight purchased a home in Las Vegas, Nevada, for $695,000. In 2018, she successfully sold the property for $720,000. The home faced challenges in the real estate market due to various customizations, including a recording studio in the basement. Despite the difficulty in selling that particular property, Knight and her family retained ownership of another residence situated on a golf course in nearby Henderson, Nevada. Gladys Knight net worth is $8 million.

Additionally, in 2007, Gladys Knight expanded her property portfolio by acquiring a 20-acre farm in Fairview, North Carolina.

Reynolds High School Renovation

In 2015, Gladys Knight and her husband, William McDowell, made a significant purchase by acquiring a former high school in Canton, North Carolina. This particular high school held historical significance as it was not only attended by McDowell but also served as one of the few African American schools in North Carolina at one point. The couple has ambitious plans to convert the property into a community center, a vision they aim to achieve by raising $5 million through a foundation they established. As of the latest information, the project remains underway but has not yet reached completion.

Earnings & Financial Data

1993Record SalesJust for You album earnings (Gold by RIAA)$500,000
1989Record SalesGreatest Hits album earnings (Gold by RIAA)$500,000
1988Record SalesThe Singles Album earnings (Gold by BPI)$100,000
1986Record SalesAll Our Love album earnings (Gold by RIAA)$500,000
1982Record SalesVisions album earnings (Gold by RIAA)$500,000
1979Record SalesThe Touch of Love album earnings (Silver by BPI)$60,000
1976Record Sales30 Greatest Hits album earnings (Platinum by BPI)$300,000
1975Record SalesThe Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips earnings (Gold by BPI)$100,000
1974Record Sales2nd Anniversary album earnings (Gold by RIAA)$500,000
1973Record SalesI Feel a Song album earnings (Gold by RIAA, Silver by BPI)$560,000
1973Record SalesClaudine soundtrack album earnings (Gold by RIAA)$500,000
1972Record SalesNeither One of Us album earnings (Over 2.5 million copies sold)$2,500,000
1972Record SalesImagination album earnings (Gold by RIAA)$500,000


In 1993, Gladys Knight earned an estimated $500,000 from record sales of her album “Just for You,” certified gold by the RIAA.

  • The compilation album “Greatest Hits” from 1989 contributed an estimated $500,000 to Gladys Knight’s earnings, certified gold by the RIAA.
  • Earnings of $100,000 were estimated from the compilation album “The Singles Album” in 1988, certified gold by the BPI.
  • The album “All Our Love” with Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1986 brought in an estimated $500,000 in earnings, certified gold by the RIAA.
  • In 1982, the album “Visions” with Gladys Knight & the Pips earned an estimated $500,000, certified gold by the RIAA.
  • Gladys Knight earned $60,000 from the compilation album “The Touch of Love” in 1979, certified silver by the BPI.
  • The compilation album “30 Greatest Hits” in 1976 contributed an estimated $300,000 to Gladys Knight’s earnings, certified platinum by the BPI.
  • “The Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips” album earnings in 1975 amounted to an estimated $100,000, certified gold by the BPI.
  • In 1974, the album “2nd Anniversary” with Gladys Knight & the Pips earned an estimated $500,000, certified gold by the RIAA.
  • The album “I Feel a Song” with Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1973 brought in an estimated $560,000, certified gold by the RIAA and silver by the BPI.
  • The soundtrack album “Claudine” with Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1973 earned an estimated $500,000, certified gold by the RIAA.
  • In 1972, the album “Neither One of Us” with Gladys Knight & the Pips earned an estimated $2,500,000, selling over 2.5 million copies.
  • The album “Imagination” with Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1972 contributed an estimated $500,000, certified gold by the RIAA.


Gladys Knight, renowned for her musical achievements, has garnered substantial earnings from various record sales throughout her career. Notable highlights include her 1993 album “Just for You,” certified gold by the RIAA, bringing in an estimated $500,000. The 1989 compilation “Greatest Hits” and the 1986 album “All Our Love” with Gladys Knight & the Pips also contributed significantly with estimated earnings of $500,000 each.

In addition, Gladys Knight’s involvement in the 1970s, particularly with albums like “Neither One of Us” (1972) and “I Feel a Song” (1973), reaped considerable financial success. The former, selling over 2.5 million copies, earned an estimated $2,500,000, while the latter contributed $560,000 and received gold certification from the RIAA.

These achievements, along with numerous other successful albums, have solidified Gladys Knight’s status as a prominent figure in the music industry, marked by various gold and platinum certifications and significant financial rewards.

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