She’s an icon!
Gladys Knight is a legendary soul singer who is one of the foundational voices of American music, her imprint dating back to the ‘60s. An Atlanta native, Knight rose to prominence when she was just a teen, scoring No. 1 hits like “Midnight Train to Georgia,” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Now the “Empress of Soul,” has been awarded one of the nation’s highest honors, the National Medal of Art, Vibe reports.
Knight was honored at the White House by President Biden with a host of other recipients including Bruce Springsteen, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mindy Kaling, and Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, the Associated Press reports. Knight appeared in a stylish pink suit, giving the President a warm embrace as he placed the medal around her neck. She was acknowledged for her “exceptional talent,” and her widespread influence on various genres of music from gospel to pop.
“The National Medal of Arts recipients have helped to define and enrich our nation’s cultural legacy through their life long passionate commitment. We are a better nation because of their contributions. Their work helps us see the world in different ways. It inspires us to reach our full potential and recognize our common humanity. I join the President in congratulating and thanking them,” said National Endowment for the Arts chair Maria Rosario Jackson.
“I’m humbled beyond words to be included amongst this prestigious group of individuals, both past and present. 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. I have been blessed with so much in my life and this certainly stands with those achievements at the top of that list,” she said via statement.
Congratulations Ms. Gladys Knight!
Cover photo: President Joe Biden awards soul legend Gladys Knight with National Medal of Art/Photo Courtesy of @MsGladysKnight/Instagram