On this day in 1944, singer Gladys Knight is born in Atlanta, Georgia. The daughter of two gospel choir singers, Knight began singing with a touring choir at age four. At age seven, she won the grand prize on the popular TV show Original Amateur Hour and made several subsequent TV appearances. At a birthday party for her 10-year-old brother in 1952, when Gladys was eight, she pulled together an impromptu singing group, using her brother and several cousins to help her out. Another cousin, James “Pip” Wood, suggested they turn professional, and the group adopted their cousin’s nickname, touring as Gladys Knight and the Pips. The group played together for years without making a splash but finally hit the charts in 1961 with “Every Beat of My Heart.” They continued to record hits throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. Among their best-known songs are “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1967), “Midnight Train to Georgia” (1973), and “Love Overboard” (1987).