Who is Gladys Knight's spouse now? Inside the musician's multiple marriages

Who is Gladys Knight's spouse now? Inside the musician's multiple marriages

Gladys Knight is the Empress of Soul and has made a name for herself with bangers such as Midnight Train to Georgia and That's What Friends are For. Unfortunately, she has had quite a personal life characterized by four marriages and three divorces. Luckily, she seems to have found her Mr Right with 20 years together and counting. So, who is Gladys Knight's spouse now?

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Gladys Knight's spouse
Gladys Knight attends the 2021 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo:y Jason Kempin
Source: Getty Images

Gladys Knight's spouse has been in the limelight for two reasons, her personal life and her career in the entertainment industry. Gladys is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author and businesswoman from Atlanta, Georgia.

She is famous for many hits songs recorded between the 1960 and 1980s. She is also a seven-time Grammy Award-winner.

Who is Gladys Knight?

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She is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author and businesswoman. Gladys Maria Knight was born on 28th May 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She is 77 years old as of 2022. Her parents are Merald Woodlw Knight Senior (father) and Sarah Elizabeth (mother).

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She has three siblings, a sister known as Brenda and two brothers, Merald Junior and David. While growing up, Gladys sang in the church choir and at eight years old, she won Ted Mack's The Original Amateur Hour TV show contest. In 1952, she formed the Pips musical group together with her brother Merald, her sister, Brenda and her cousins, William and Eleanor Guest.

The group started performing in small programs until 1961 when they recorded their first song, Every Beat of my Heart. The single became a huge success, with many record labels seeking to sign them. They changed their name to Gladys Knight and the Pips and were signed with Bobby Robinson's label and Fury Records.

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After performing for many years, releasing hit songs and albums and going on various tours, the group broke, and Knight started her career as a solo musician in the 1990s. So far, she has dropped more than 40 albums, 11 solo studio albums, and many singles.

What disease does Gladys Knight have? The singer has cancer. She confirmed this during Aretha Franklin's funeral.

Aretha and I discussed both of us having cancer. Mine was stage 1 breast cancer, and hers was pancreatic.

However, later, her publicist denied that the singer had cancer.

Who is Gladys Knight's husband now?

Gladys Knight's spouse
Gladys Knight (L) and William McDowell arrive at the 44th NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Michael Tran
Source: Getty Images

Her husband is William McDowell. How old is Gladys Knight's husband William McDowell? William is in his early 60s. He is 14 years younger than Gladys, who is 77 years in 2022.

The couple exchanged their wedding vows in 2001 and has been married for two decades as of 2022. Gladys and William currently live in Asheville, North Carolina. They own a community centre, the former Reynolds High School in Canton, attended by McDowell.

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The couple does not have any children, but they have 17 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Gladys Knight's dating history

Even though she is currently married to William McDowell, the singer has been previously married and divorced. Here is her dating history:

James Newman

Gladys Knight's spouse
R&B/Soul Singer Gladys Knight and son Jimmy Newman, Jr. attends a Press Conference Given by Gladys Knight at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City. Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd
Source: Getty Images

Gladys was first married to James Newman, commonly known as Jimmy. The union lasted for 13 years, from 1960 to 1973. She was only 16 years when she got married after getting pregnant with Jimmy. Unfortunately, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.

Later, the couple had two more children together. Newman, a musician, became a drug addict and eventually left his wife and two children just four years into the union. As a result, Gladys retired from her music tours to concentrate on raising her children single-handedly.

She also separated from Jimmy even though she did not seek divorce immediately. Instead, she divorced him in 1973. Unfortunately, Jimmy passed away a few years after the divorce settlement. Gladys' son took up managing his mother career through Newman Management Inc Company. He was her manager until 10th July 1999, when he succumbed to heart failure.

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Barry Hankerson

Gladys married her second husband, Barry Hankerson, a year after divorcing her first husband, Newman. He is an American record producer, music label owner and manager. He is the founder and manager of Blackground Records.

Later on, the couple tied the knot in October 1974 and had a son, Shanga-Ali Hankerson. She became a stepmother to Barry's other son, Jomo Hankerson, from his previous union. The union lasted less than five years as they divorced in 1979. The duo went through a nasty custom battle.

Gladys Knight's spouse
Gladys Knight and Barry Hankerson in a scene from the film 'Pipe Dreams', 1976. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives
Source: Getty Images

Les Brown

Despite two divorces, the singer did not give up on love. She entered into another marriage in 1995 with Les Brown. This was notably the shortest marriage in the icon's marital history as it ended within two years.

Gladys admitted that she emerged from the union as a better person.

We need those obstacles in our lives because I know one thing; I'm a much better person for them. And I am not even mad at nobody.

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Gladys Knight's spouse, William McDowell and the singer have had a beautiful romance for more than two decades now. The marriage has survived through thick and thin and has left many curious about the mystery behind their love story. The duo who keeps their affairs under wraps has maintained such credibility.

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Venic Mwendwa Venic Nyanchama is a copywriter with more than two years of working experience in the journalism world. She has an educational background in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Nairobi having graduated in 2014. Venic works on topics in Facts and Life Hacks since 2018. Email address: venicmwendwa@gmail.com

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