All Articles Tagged "gladys knight"

Gladys Knight’s Son Claims She Lacks Mental Capacity To Terminate Their Agreement

September 27th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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This past summer, we wrote about the tax troubles with the Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles franchise. As a brief update, the Georgia Department Revenue claimed that Knight’s son Shanga Hankerson, who is the man behind the brand, had allegedly stolen more than $650,000 in sales and withholding taxes. Authorities believe Hankerson has presumably used the money for his personal use.

And although Knight was not implicated in any of the charges, in an attempt to save herself from some of the inevitable fall out, Gladys wanted her name removed from the restaurant chain. She sued her son and then issued a cease and desist.

But her son is not having it.

According to The Daily Mail, Knight ordered her son to remove her name from the outlets. But Hankerson is actively blocking his mother from the business. Court documents filed on his behalf say:

“Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, [sic] lack of mental capacity to rescind the license agreement granted to Defendants.”

And although an August 17 email said that Hankerson had “no desire to fight his mother for use of her name” he has yet to change the branding on the restaurants.

The licensing deal between Knight and her son is ten years old but expired in 2009. They continued to operate under an oral agreement. But after this year’s alleged criminal activity, Knight was over it.

And we were hoping they would have managed to do this without all the mess…

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” 

Gladys Knight’s Chicken And Waffles Raided As Authorities Suspect Her Son Of Theft

June 22nd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Gladys Knight's Chicken And Waffles Raided As Authorities Suspect Her Son Of Theft

Joseph Marzullo/

Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles restaurants are an Atlanta staple. But this week, they’re in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. According to the Associated Press, the Department of Revenue agents raided all locations of the restaurants as well as the company’s corporate headquarters yesterday.

Despite the name on the awning, the string of restaurants are owned by Knight’s son Shanga Hankerson. According to a news release, the Georgia Department of Revenue has opened a criminal theft investigation against Hankerson, alleging that he stole more than $650,000 in sales and withholding taxes. The Department believes Hankers used the funds for his personal use.

As a result, he is now facing criminal charges, including theft and theft by conversion. At this point, agents have been unsuccessful in serving an arrest warrant at Hankerson’s home.

His mother, however is not suspected of any criminal activity. A spokesperson for the singer issued this statement.

“Gladys Knight lent her name to her son’s restaurants in the Atlanta area, similar to a celebrity endorsement.  Ms. Knight was not involved in any way with the operation of the restaurants and she is sure that her son and his business partners will rectify the situation.  As always, her main concern is for her family’s well-being and she is making sure the family has the guidance they need to assess the situation and move forward.”

As a result of the ongoing investigation, restaurants have been closed. But the revenue department said once a receivership agreement is made between the state and Hankerson, the restaurant should reopen.

OWN Network Hosts Music Icons At The Apollo Theater For Legendary Concert Series

October 25th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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After banking a major stake in Weight Watchers, media maven Oprah Winfrey has rolled out yet another major power move from her well-cuffed sleeve.

If you haven’t already heard the good news, Winfrey’s OWN network is hosting a legendary music icons concert series, Legends: OWN at the Apollo.  Appropriately held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, the place many legendary musicians got their start, the series premiered on OWN last night (Oct. 24) and will continue to air with iconic acts for the next three Saturdays. For the series kicker, Gladys Knight performed her six decades worth of hits.

“I’m always happy to do anything for OWN. That’s Oprah’s network and I love her,” the soulful chanteuse said. “They chose me and I’m flattered by that,” The Grio reported.

Knight also shared the stage with Yolanda Adams, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick for a performance of “That’s What Friends Are For.”

Legends like Smokey Robinson (10/31), The Isley Brothers (11/7) and Earth, Wind & Fire (11/14) are all set to perform their catalogs of equal parts of extensive and influential for sold-out audiences.

Tune in to Legends: OWN at the Apollo on Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.


“I Want My Women To Stand Up” Gladys Knight Wants Female Singers To Stop Selling Sex Instead Of Music

September 10th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From The Grio 

The seven-time Grammy Award winner has a career spanning several decades and has no plans of slowing down.

In an interview with Chris Witherspoon, the “Empress of Soul” opened up about having “new album jitters” and also discussed the current state of the music industry.

Knight, who rose to prominence in the early 1970’s as the front-woman for the Motown sensation Gladys Knight and the Pips, opened up about some of the young artists that are attempting to break into the music business today.

“I don’t envy them, coming through the industry at this time, because it’s a totally different industry. It is money-driven. It is power-driven. They would do anything to get famous,” Knight said. “We came through with a moral value, an integrity value, and a great love for what we were doing. So it helped us to do the things that we needed to do to be better. We didn’t have to be on the cover of every magazine, we didn’t have to be doing something dramatic just to get some attention. We let our talents speak for that.”

Read more about Gladys Knight’s thoughts on the music industry at 

Guess Who Gladys Knight Wants To Play Her In A Biopic?

September 10th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Speaking of biopics, if Gladys Knight were to ever produce a film about her life, she says she’d want Kelly Rowland to be the leading lady.

“You guys remember when I asked you all who you’d like to see play the role of Gladys Knight in my biopic? Well… Here’s what I think:) @kellyrowland,” Gladys wrote in an Instagram post.

The iconic singer also expressed similar sentiments during an interview with CBS.

“I like Kelly Rowland,” Gladys said. “We don’t know her as an actress but there’s something about her and her spirit that kind of reflects with me.”

Kelly has yet to respond to Aunt Gladys’ comment, but it would be amazing if she’s open to it.

Fantasia, Patti & Gladys Perform, Audra McDonald Makes History: Black Women Win Big At The Tony Awards

June 9th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

Fantasia says all the time how Patti LaBelle is her idol turned mama. So I’m sure it was an honor and privilege for her to perform with her and Gladys Knight this past weekend at the 2014 Tony Awards. The two legends and youngblood Fantasia opened the show singing “On the Sunny Side of the Street” in a choreographed number staged by Warren Carlyle. It showcased some of the highlights from the musical After Midnight. Fantasia finished her last show for the musical earlier that afternoon and Knight and LaBelle will succeed her this summer along with Natalie Cole. If you hadn’t heard, the show did exceptionally well and received seven Tony Nominations including one for Best Musical. It won last night for Best Choreography. You can watch the ladies’ performance below.


Last night was dusted with all types of Black Girl Magic as Sophie Okonedo took home the award for best featured actress in a play for her portrayal of Ruth in “A Raisin in the Sun.” And Audra McDonald made history,  becoming the Tony Awards’ most celebrated actress ever. Last night she took home her sixth Tony for her role as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” During her acceptance speech McDonald cried openly and thanked her late parents for disregarding the doctor’s advice and not medicating her for being hyperactive. Thankfully, they directed her to theater instead. And she acknowledged her husband and children, specifically her daughter who she said she is nothing without. And then she thanked women like Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, Maya Angelous and Billie Holiday. You can watch her speech below.


We’re so proud of all these ladies’ accomplishments and happy to see diversity flourishing on Broadway.

First Look: Gladys Knight Starring In OWN Reality Series, ‘Knight Life With Gladys’

December 18th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Gladys Knight

Aunt Gladys is still making moves, y’all! After being in the industry for over 60 years, the musical icon is trying her hand at reality TV. The Empress of Soul and her family will be starring in a docu-series on the OWN network titled, “Knight Life with Gladys.” A brief description of the show reads:

“The pressure is really on Gladys. Her out of control schedule is taking a toll on her relationship with her fun-loving husband, William, who yearns for more romantic time with his soul mate. Gladys’ over-the-top charismatic brother and former “Pip,” Bubba, has decided it’s his time to shine. He has sung backup to his superstar sister long enough and decides that it’s finally time to go solo! But he needs Gladys’ help, of course, since he will have to dip into her set time to get on stage. Gladys’ son, Shanga, is opening a restaurant in Atlanta with Gladys’ name on it. However, with her name on the marquee, Gladys will make sure the tastes, atmosphere and even the back entrance are living up to her standards, which may prove to be an unreasonable task for her son because Gladys isn’t going to just settle.

“The Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight loves her iconic music, huge family and loyal fans, but there is only one Gladys to go around, and making it all work sometimes takes a little magic that only Gladys can weave.”

OWN recently offered a clip previewing the first five minutes of the show and it looks pretty promising.

Peep the clip on page two. Does this look like something you would watch?

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Claudine”

March 25th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Third World Cinema

If you were seeing a movie in the ’70’s, chances are you were going to be watching a blaxploitation film. That was until Claudine came along in 1974. The movie used unique vehicles to tell a story that had largely been ignored in cinema. Hopefully, you’ve seen this classic. If so, it’s certainly a story you won’t forget. And though you know the story and remembered all the outrageous moments from the movie, we bet you don’t know the behind these scenes secrets.

Motown’s Greatest Artists Of All Time

February 27th, 2013 - By Diamond Newman
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There was a time when Motown Records owned and ran the music scene. You couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing the collaborative harmonies of The Temptations or the fabulosity of Diana Ross. These artists made you shake your hips and groove before it was even acceptable. You’ll also be surprised that some of these artists weren’t even conceived when the famous record company was at its height. Check out the 15 best artists in Motown’s history!



Marvin Gaye

He had good looks, sex appeal and music that made you think and want to make love all at the same time. With hits like “What’s Going On?” and “Sexual Healing,” Mr. Gaye helped Motown remain at the top.

Wait…What? Songs We Love But Have To Give An Extreme Side Eye!

February 23rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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George Chin / WENN

George Chin / WENN

As its been said a million times before and remains true, music is a universal language. Before you know it, a song can take you on an emotional roller coaster, feeling things you didn’t know you felt.  The stories told in songs can have you agreeing…and throwing a side eye.  Some of our favorite songs have some of the most trifling situations: cheating, fighting over men, falling in love with someone else, babies, etc.  Check out the list and don’t forget to tell us your fave song that has a trifling meaning!