A stop in Ashland

Gladys Knight has been entertaining audiences for 50 years.

ASHLAND The career of Glady Knight spans 50 years, beginning when she was just a teen singing lead with The Pips on hits such as “Every Beat of my Heart,” “Letter Full of Tears” and “If I Were Your Woman.”

 Perhaps best known for hits in the 1970s, including “Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me” and “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Knight will perform tonight at the Paramount Arts Center.

Holly Canfield, executive director of the theater, said she’s excited about the concert.

“The PAC is welcoming a living legend to the stage (tonight),” she said. “Anyone who has listened to radio over the past 50 years knows Gladys Knight’s music. We’re beyond excited! This is not a show that you want to miss.”

Like many successful artists, the Georgia native started young — and in church. She performed gospel music when she was just 4 in the Mount Mariah Baptist Church and sang as a guest soloist with the Morris Brown College Choir.

The seven-time Grammy Award winner has had No. 1 hits in pop, gospel, R&B and adult contemporary categories. She has performed in movies, such as the Lifetime original movie “Season of Love” and on television on “Apollo Live” as a judge, as a competitor on the 14th season of “Dancing With the Stars” and on “Empire.”

Knight has received a variety of honors and participated in honoring and helping others throughout her career.

All told, Knight has recorded more than 38 albums, including four solo albums in the last 20 years. “At Last,” made in 2001, employed the talents of contemporary producers like Randy Jackson, Gary Brown and James D.C. Williams III, Jon John, Jamey Jaz, Keith Thomas, Tom Dowd and Tiger Roberts.

Knight is a supporter of the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society, the Minority AIDS Project, amFAR and Crisis Intervention, and The Boys and Girls Club. She has been honored by numerous organizations as well, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Congress of Racial Equality,  B’Nai Brith, and is a recent recipient of BET’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

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