All Articles Tagged "gladys knight"

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

June 9th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
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
Share to Twitter Email This

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
Share to Twitter Email This

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
Share to Twitter Email This

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
Share to Twitter Email This
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!

Hippest Trip At Sea Part 2: Soul Train Cruise Announces Second Voyage

September 28th, 2012 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This

Gladys Knight will be performing on the second Soul Train Cruise Image: PRNewsFoto/Time Life via AP Images

When the folks over at Soul Train first introduced their celebrity cruise people couldn’t wait to get. The first ever Soul Train Cruise sold out in just days. Now the second one has been announced for next year.

It will set sail October 5, 2013 from San Diego and rock it ol´school with Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, Jeffrey Osborne, The Whispers, Freddie Jackson, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, Jennifer Holliday, Billy Paul, ConFunkShun, Jody Watley, Regina Belle, The Bar-Kays, The Dazz Band, The Mary Jane Girls, The Original Lakeside and A Taste of Honey featuring Janice Marie. Comedian Alonzo Bodden and DJ extraordinaire Biz Markie are also confirmed.

The cruise, which is on Holland America’s m/s Westerdam, will take place over seven days and travels to Cabo San Lucas, with two days in Puerto Vallarta and a scenic cruising of Baja Magdalena. And the stop in Puerto Vallarta will include a golf tournament, so pack those clubs. In addition to the back-to-back on-board concerts, they’ve also planned beach parties, a themed ball (with the iconic Soul Train Line led by Original Soul Train Dancers), onboard games and other activities.

The Inaugural Soul Train Cruise featuring Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays and Jeffrey Osborne, is February 17 through 24.

Cabin rates for the 2013 cruise start at $1,900 per person and include all meals, concerts, entertainment and onboard activities. Tickets went on sale yesterday.

The Soul Train Cruise isn’t the only celebrity-themed cruise at sea. Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage has also announced its 2013 offering. The party with a purpose (some of the proceeds go to the foundation’s work) will sail  from Miami April 7, 2013 and return April 14, 2013. It’s visiting San Juan and a private island in Nassau, Bahamas and will include major beach concerts.

This party at sea is more of an “old school meets new school” affair. Celebrity events include Snoop Dogg’s (Snoop Lion’s?) Pool Deck Concert with Bootsy Collins and the Funk Unity Band; Tyler Perry’s Beach Party With Earth Wind & Fire; and Jamie Foxx performs at the Fantastic Voyage White Party on the Beach. Ludacris will also be on deck.  A number of tickets have already sold out, but prices start just over $2,000 and go up to more than $5,000.

What Would Happen If Gladys Knight Got Around Paris Jackson? She Wouldn’t Have Any Teeth

July 26th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
Share to Twitter Email This


Everybody has their own opinions about the messiness that is the Jackson family right now, but the most bold of all might be the one from fellow celeb Gladys Knight. Yesterday the legendary singer appeared on the CBS daytime show “The Talk” and when the hosts asked her for her thoughts on everything going on with the Jackson clan right now, she didn’t hesitate to say how she really felt.

“It’s drama, that’s what it is. If you lived up under the microscope as this family does, everybody has dysfunctionality in their families, either one way or the other,” she started.

“See, I’m from the south and was raised in that southern way. You have to understand Paris is what, 14? How old is Janet? Who’s the one who tries to direct the other one here? And I would think that it’s a good thing she let’s Paris know who she is. She is a Jackson, she shouldn’t be putting the business out there like that. Cause people read into whatever they want to read into, that’s how they get the drama. So, she’s just trying to protect her, in a way. But if she [Paris] called me that, she wouldn’t have any teeth…You respect your elders.”

I think Gladys might be getting the “spoiled b****” line that everyone has been talking about mixed up because that’s what Janet supposedly called Paris, but everything else I agree with. The public wouldn’t know half of the foolery going on in that Calabasas compound if it weren’t for her tweets—and the police records. When celebrities in their 20s and 30s and even 40s don’t know how to handle Twitter, the social media site can definitely be a dangerous thing in the hands of a teenager who talks a lot of stuff 140 characters at a time 24/7. Eventually she’s going to wish she didn’t have the entire world in her business, especially when there’s enough immediate family to contend with. Maybe Gladys oughtt to pay a trip to the grounds and set them all straight. What do you say?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

More on Madame Noire!

“Heard It Through The Grapevine”: Gladys Knight Is Lead Judge On New Singing Talent Show

July 11th, 2012 - By Alissa Henry
Share to Twitter Email This
"Gladys Knight"


Often people tune into singing competitions for the judges as much as for the amateur talent and Centric has just announced the lead judge for Apollo Live: The Empress of Soul “Gladys Knight”.

Putting a new twist on an old show, Apollo Live, produced by Jamie Fox and hosted by Tony Rock, marks the Apollo Theater’s legendary return to television after the successful 21-year run of the popular “Showtime at the Apollo”.  It will be taped in front of a live audience at the Theater.

Gladys will be judging with Doug E. Fresh and Michael Bivins of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe. Not exactly J.Lo, Christina Aguilera or Anthony Hamilton, but talent shows are known to tap veterans like Steven Tyler and Paula Abdul to judge. The seven-time Grammy award winner, Gladys, is an excellent choice for Centric.

I’m curious that BET, Centric’s parent company, didn’t pick at least one current artists as a judge in an effort to appeal to a younger audience the way Duets got Kelly Clarkson and The Voice hired Adam Levine or even X-Factor picked Britney Spears. There is no shortage of black musicians who we’d love to see judging one of these talent shows.

Centric targets a different demographic though, so it’ll be entertaining to watch these veterans’ responses to any young contestants who happen to emulate the popstars of today.

What does the winner get? Centric told the Associated Press that the reward for the series’ winner has not been determined.

There were many fans of Showtime at the Apollo, and it would be great if “Apollo Live” does for Centric ratings-wise now what American Idol did for FOX in 2001.

Guess we’ll have to see!

Will you be watching Gladys Knight and Apollo Live?

Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink

More on Madame Noire!


She Wants RESPECT: Aretha Wants to Know Why Nobody’s Asked Her To Be A Reality TV Show Judge

June 22nd, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
Share to Twitter Email This


Forget an honorary doctorate, Aretha has her sites set on another accomplishment, being a judge on a reality TV show singing competition. The only problem is she’s not getting any offers.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun Times she said,

“I would love to be a judge on one of those shows. But I don’t understand why singers like myself, Gladys (Knight), Natalie (Cole) and Patti (LaBelle) can’t be judges.

“We never get a call. I don’t understand it. I watch those shows all the time. Some of the talent is very good. Some of it is fun. And some of it is really wild.”

You can’t say she doesn’t have a point. Other than the obvious age demographic shows like the “X Factor,” “American Idol,” “Duets,” “The Voice,” etc. are trying to cater to, when you read about someone like Britney Spears, who can’t sing at all, getting $15 million dollars and walking off set the first day, or hosts ogling over women like Nicole Scherzinger and even Kelly Rowland (no shade), who have had mediocre solo careers in comparison to Aretha and them, you have to have a”huh” moment.

The fact that Aretha is said to have a bit of a diva attitude may not be helping her case, but we all know these shows aren’t really about finding a great singer, it’s about finding someone who is marketable. Unfortunately Aretha, Patty, and Glady’s talent would just be wasted on shows like these.

What do you think? Should reality singing competitions be knocking down Aretha’s door?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

More on Madame Noire!

Closed for Business: Diddy Shuts Down His Famed Atlanta Restaurant, “Justin’s”

June 13th, 2012 - By Alissa Henry
Share to Twitter Email This
"Justin's Restaurant"

After 14 years in the restaurant business, Diddy is moving on to other endeavors. The mogul has closed his once wildly successful Buckhead restaurant “Justin’s” that specialized in Southern and Caribbean food.

The AJC reports:

“There was speculation that Justin’s was shut down for renovations and would reopen. Not. Once known for “Martini Mondays” and celebrity-filled weekend nights, Justin’s fell off in recent years and was unable to relocate its early magic.

Combs’ first Justin’s restaurant, in New York, closed after 10 years in 2007.

Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group (BBWEG), founded by Combs, said in a statement that Justin’s was closed in order to pursue “other business ventures in music, television, fashion, fragrance and spirits.” It added that is is “actively exploring business opportunities in Atlanta” and promises “to have a strong presence in the region.”

Diddy isn’t the only entertainer to have his restaurant close in recent years. Usher, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri’s restaurants have all reached the same fate.

In fact, Gladys Knight’s and Ron Winan’s chicken and waffle joints make them the only entertainers left thriving in Atlanta’s restaurant industry.

This isn’t the first time this restaurant has made headlines. In 2009, the restaurant reportedly owed the IRS $8,000 dollars in back taxes. And last summer, Tony Austin (former A&R man for Def Jam and President of Russell Simmons Music Group) sued Diddy for “failing to maintain a safe environment” after Austin was shot multiple times in the restaurant’s parking lot in 2010. Sheesh!

No one likes to see a black-owned business fail, but we’re pretty sure Diddy isn’t hurting for money. Last year, Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at $500 million dollars, making him the richest figure in hip hop.

Have you ever visited Justin’s in Atlanta? Why do you think these entertainer-owned restaurants don’t survive in that city? 

Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink