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Langston George retired from the group in 1962, leaving the four strong line-up that survived into the 80s.In 1966, Gladys Knight And The Pips signed to Motown Records’ Soul subsidiary, where they were teamed up with producer/songwriter Norman Whitfield.
Gladys Knight & The Pips’ cover of Ray Price's song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot Soul Singles for two weeks.
It was later certified gold by the RIAA for sales of one million copies, and reached the top 10 in the UK.
Knight’s tough vocals left them slightly out of the Motown mainstream, and throughout their stay with the label the group was regarded as a second-string act.
Between 19, they had major R&B and minor pop hits in America with ‘Everybody Needs Love’, ‘The End Of The Road’, ‘It Should Have Been Me’ and ‘I Wish It Would Rain’, but enjoyed most success with the original release of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, an uncompromisingly tough performance of a song that became a Motown standard in the hands of its author Marvin Gaye in 1969.
A noteworthy album of standards was released in 2006.
Gladys Knight is known as the ‘Empress of Soul’, and for good reason.Major hits such as ‘I’ve Got To Use My Imagination’ and ‘Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me’ (R&B chart-toppers and pop Top 5 hits) mined a similar vein.In 1974, the group performed Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack songs for the movie Claudine, spawning the major hit ‘On And On’, and the following year the title track of I Feel A Song gave them another R&B number 1.She collaborated with Chaka Khan, Brandy and Tamia on the minor hit ‘Missing You’ in 1996, taken from the Queen Latifah movie Set It Off.The same year she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with the Pips.She is a four-time Grammy Award-winner, and is best known for the songs she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s and beyond, both as a solo artist and with her group Gladys Knight and the Pips.To celebrate Gladys' amazing career, we've picked just a handful of her very best...In the early 70s, Gladys Knight And The Pips slowly moved away from their original blues-influenced sound towards a more middle-of-the-road harmony blend.Their new approach brought them success in 1973 with the smash hit ‘Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)’ (number 1 R&B/number 2 pop), while further hits during this period included ‘I Don’t Want To Do Wrong’, ‘Make Me The Woman That You Go Home To’, ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ and ‘Daddy Could Swear, I Declare’.Gladys Knight And The Pips’ version topped the R&B chart for six weeks at the end of 1967 and also reached number 2 on the US pop charts.The group enjoyed further R&B and pop hits at the end of the decade with ‘Didn’t You Know (You’d Have To Cry Sometime)’, ‘The Nitty Gritty’, ‘Friendship Train’ and ‘You Need Love Like I Do (Don’t You)’, while the poignant ‘If I Were Your Woman’ was one of the label’s biggest-selling releases of 1970 and provided the group with their third R&B chart-topper.