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Gladys Knight receives Kennedy lifetime artistic achievement award

‘I stand here with my fans, my family, my friends, my team and my faith in accepting such an amazing distinction,’ the Latter-day Saint performer said

Gladys Knight was among a group of five honorees who received Kennedy lifetime artistic achievements awards.

Gladys Knight, an award-winning music artist and Latter-day Saint, waves to a cheering crowd. She was among a group of five honorees who received the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements on Dec. 4, 2022.

Screenshot from YouTube


Gladys Knight receives Kennedy lifetime artistic achievement award

‘I stand here with my fans, my family, my friends, my team and my faith in accepting such an amazing distinction,’ the Latter-day Saint performer said

Gladys Knight was among a group of five honorees who received Kennedy lifetime artistic achievements awards.

Gladys Knight, an award-winning music artist and Latter-day Saint, waves to a cheering crowd. She was among a group of five honorees who received the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements on Dec. 4, 2022.

Screenshot from YouTube

A Latter-day Saint musical artist was among a distinguished group of five honorees who received the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements on Dec. 4, 2022.

Gladys Knight, the Grammy-winning soul, R&B and pop singer known by many by as America’s “empress of soul,” was honored alongside the likes of actor and filmmaker George Clooney, Christian and pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant, Cuban-American composer, conductor and educator Tania Leon, and the rock band U2.

The Honors Gala was recorded, and The 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors will air Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 6 p.m. MST on CBS and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. 

“I am still in awe,” Knight said in an interview. “I don’t take anything like that for granted.”

Among her many career highlights, Knight has accomplished the following:

  • She has won seven Grammy Awards with No. 1 hits in pop, R&B and adult contemporary.
  • She has recorded more than 38 albums, earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  • She received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame and the BET Awards, along with a Legend Award from the Soul Train Awards.
  • She performed with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square as a guest artist for the Christmas concert in 2000 and as a featured guest with “Music & the Spoken Word” in 2012.
  • She performed on “Dancing with the Stars” at age 67 in 2012.
  • She performed the national anthem at Super Bowl LIII in 2019.
  • She is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, according to her Kennedy Center bio.

Knight was “humbled beyond words” to be included among such a “prestigious group of individuals, both past and present,” she said in a news release.

“You could never have told me as a young girl starting my career that I would be honored on a stage such as this, with artists and humanitarians such as these — it just wouldn’t have seemed possible. It would have been the dream of all dreams,” she said. “I have been blessed with so much in my life and this certainly stands with those achievements at the top of that list. To be honored as a Kennedy Center Honoree is among the highlights of my career. I stand here with my fans, my family, my friends, my team and my faith in accepting such an amazing distinction. It is dedicated to all those who paved the path for me to be able to accomplish the wonderful blessings I’ve been able to receive. ... I am so very grateful for this moment.”

Singer Garth Brooks performed Knight’s smash hit “Midnight Train to Georgia” as a tribute to her during the evening’s events.

“What an honor to get to do ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ to one of the sweetest, most beautiful souls inside and out, Gladys Knight,” Brooks said in a video interview.

Gladys Knight does an interview during the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements on Dec. 4, 2022.

Gladys Knight, a Latter-day Saint, does an interview during the 45th Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements on Dec. 4, 2022.

Kennedy YouTube screengrab

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