Is Gladys Knight Related to Whitney Houston? The Truth Behind the Rumor

Gladys Knight and Whitney Houston are two of the most iconic singers in the history of soul and pop music. They have both won multiple Grammy Awards, sold millions of records, and influenced generations of artists. But are they related by blood or marriage? This is a question that has been asked by many fans and curious people over the years. In this article, we will explore the truth behind the rumor and reveal the connection between these two legendary divas.

The Family Ties of Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight was born on May 28, 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia. She began singing at a young age in her church choir and won a talent show contest when she was eight years old. She formed a group with her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight Jr., sister Brenda Knight, and cousins William Guest and Edward Patten. They called themselves The Pips, after the nickname of their cousin James “Pip” Woods. The group became famous in the 1960s and 1970s with hits like “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, “Midnight Train to Georgia”, and “Neither One of Us”. Gladys Knight is also known as the “Empress of Soul” for her powerful and expressive voice.

Gladys Knight has been married four times and has three children: James Newman III, Kenya Newman, and Shanga Hankerson. She also has 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She is currently married to William McDowell, a former music executive. According to Wikipedia1, some of her relatives are:

  • David “Billy” Knight: her brother who died in 1999.
  • Brenda Knight: her sister who is also a singer.
  • Aaliyah Hankerson: her granddaughter who is an actress and singer.
  • Sterling Hankerson: her grandson who is a rapper and producer.

The Family Ties of Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey. She was the daughter of John Russell Houston Jr., an Army serviceman and entertainment executive, and Emily “Cissy” Houston, a gospel singer and choir director. She grew up in a musical family and started singing in her church choir when she was 11 years old. She was discovered by Clive Davis, the founder of Arista Records, who signed her to his label in 1983. She became one of the best-selling artists of all time with hits like “I Will Always Love You”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”, and “The Greatest Love of All”. She also starred in movies like The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale, and The Preacher’s Wife. She won six Grammy Awards, 22 American Music Awards, and two Emmy Awards among many other honors.

Whitney Houston was married to Bobby Brown, a singer and rapper, from 1992 to 2007. They had one daughter: Bobbi Kristina Brown, who died in 2015 at the age of 22. Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012 at the age of 48 due to accidental drowning and drug overdose. According to, some of her relatives are:

  • Cissy Houston: her mother who is also a singer.
  • Dionne Warwick: her cousin who is also a singer.
  • Dee Dee Warwick: her cousin who was also a singer.
  • Leontyne Price: her cousin who is an opera singer.
  • Gary Garland: her half-brother who is a former basketball player.
  • Michael Houston: her half-brother who is also a singer.

The Connection Between Gladys Knight and Whitney Houston

So, is Gladys Knight related to Whitney Houston? The answer is no, they are not related by blood or marriage. However, they do have a connection through their mutual admiration and friendship. Gladys Knight was one of Whitney Houston’s idols and mentors. She first met Whitney when she was a teenager and invited her to perform with her on stage. She also gave her advice and encouragement throughout her career. Whitney Houston considered Gladys Knight as one of her influences and inspirations. She often praised her for her talent and grace.

Gladys Knight was devastated by Whitney Houston’s death in 2012. She performed at her funeral and paid tribute to her legacy. She said that Whitney was “so gifted that Satan was working her big time” according to Gnostic Warrior. She also said that she didn’t see it coming because Whitney seemed happy and healthy before she died according to Ace Showbiz. She still struggles with the loss of her friend and fellow singer.


Gladys Knight and Whitney Houston are not related by blood or marriage, but they share a bond through their music and friendship. They are both icons of soul and pop music who have left a lasting impact on the world. They are also both women of faith who sang from their hearts and souls. They are two of the greatest singers of all time who will always be remembered and celebrated.

Doms Desk

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