You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Inside Gladys Knight’s 75th Birthday Celebration with Terry Crews, La Toya Jackson, Loni Love and Diane Warren

Gladys Knight may have turned 75 in May, but the celebration is still going nearly five months later.

“I feel blessed,” Knight told reporters Sunday night on the red carpet outside Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz in Bel-Air, Calif. “Cause you know, we just will never know the hour, the moment, the day, the time that we’re supposed to go. So you should make the most of every moment.”

Adding of her 75 years and legendary career, Knight told Variety, “I am most proud of the spirit that I’ve had along the way. Not letting it take you over and take you somewhere else that He didn’t plan for you to go.”

Taking a break from a world tour, the “Empress of Soul” celebrated her milestone birthday in regal fashion, with a guest list that featured fellow music superstars Diane Warren, La Toya Jackson, Lalah Hathaway and David and Katharine Foster, as well as Billy Dee Williams, George Wallace, Tommy Chong and “The Real’s” Loni Love, all gushing about the chance salute Knight in person.

“I have to get up and go to work at 4 in the morning,” Love told Variety. “We have to celebrate our icons while they’re here, and so that’s why it was so important for me to get up and do this. It’s just the things that she has done in history as far as being a great actress or great singer, to be able to record the span of time, you know, and she still to this day is doing things, you see on ‘The Masked Singer,’ you see her on ‘Showtime at the Apollo’. She just keeps working and that just lets you know that she’s a true entertainer.”

But what do you get a music legend for such an important occasion? Love laughed, I just got her a Target gift card. I was like, you know, everybody needs something from Target, so I was like ‘Let me just get her this gift card.’ And that way, you know, I think it was like 100 bucks…splurge, on me, Gladys.”

Gladys Knight, La Toya Jackson and Loni LoveGladys Knight's 75th Birthday Party, Inside, Vibrato Grill Jazz, Los Angeles, USA - 20 Oct 2019
CREDIT: Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Shutterstock

“I grew up in Flint, Michigan, and when I was a kid she was already a mega star, so we used to play her at the house,” Terry Crews explained of his love for Knight, recalling watching the singer perform on Richard Pryor’s show. “I just remember how iconic that was because at the time there were only three channels and that was it. And when you were famous…when you were black on TV, everybody was tied in and like, ‘Oh my God, did you see last night?’ You know, it was all what everybody talked about and she was just a mainstay.”

Of getting the chance to party alongside his idol, the actor and television host quipped, “I want to be an honorary Pip tonight, my name is Terry Pip Crews!”

And Crews — who attended the party with his wife and fellow Knight super-fan Rebecca —  got his chance to join in on the musical tribute during the “One Knight in October” celebration, hosted by Knight’s good friend, philanthropist Rafi Anteby. Knight was honored with videotaped messages from friends and fans like Jamie Foxx, Chrissy Metz, Linda Thompson, Smokey Robinson and Motown’s Berry Gordy, as well as a video retrospective of her life and career that played after guests enjoyed a three-course dinner.

But the highlight of the evening was the jam session featuring Taylor Dayne, Chanté Moore, Freda Payne, V. Bozeman, Brie Capone, Louis Price and Al B. Sure. Grammy-nominated singer MAJOR pulled Knight in for a brief duet of his hit song, “Why I Love You,” altering the lyrics to pay tribute to the songstress. Hathaway did the honors of singing “Happy Birthday” to Knight, who blew out the candles on a decadent cake before heading to the stage for her finale performance that included “Love Overboard” and “Neither One of Us.” Knight closed out the evening with a performance of her classic “Midnight Train to Georgia” (with Crews taking his place onstage as a fill-in Pip) before hitting the final notes just before 11 p.m.

William McDowell, Rafi Anteby, Gladys Knight and Terry CrewsGladys Knight's 75th Birthday Party, Inside, Vibrato Grill Jazz, Los Angeles, USA - 20 Oct 2019
CREDIT: Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Shutterstock

More Music

  • Coldplay Everyday Life

    Album Review: Coldplay’s ‘Everyday Life’

    “Just because I’m losing,” Chris Martin once sang, “doesn’t mean I’m lost.” A platitude to end all platitudes, this line is a prime example of the familiar arena-rock territory Coldplay has prowled so successfully for nearly 20 years. The soliloquy framing and vague but relatable message are both present on “Lost” from 2008’s “Viva la [...]

  • Leonard Cohen album cover

    Album Review: Leonard Cohen's 'Thanks for the Dance'

    “But wait — there’s more!” can be a good news/bad news thing when it comes to posthumous album releases. No one, or almost no one, likes the idea of scraps from a late artist’s cutting room floor slowly being dribbled out over time, as happened with Tupac Shakur, who somehow released more studio albums in [...]

  • Shannon Hoon

    Live Nation Productions Boards Danny Clinch-Helmed Blind Melon Doc 'All I Can Say'

    Live Nation Productions and Double E Entertainment have signed on as executive producers of “All I Can Say,” the documentary film featuring footage shot entirely by the late Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon. The film’s title is taken from the opening lines of Blind Melon’s instantly recognizable 1993 smash, “No Rain.” Culled from Hoon’s archives, the [...]

  • Bon Iver Justin Vernon Grammys

    Bon Iver, Tanya Tucker, Thom Yorke Lead Indie Labels to 44% of Grammy Nominations

    Ever since Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” won Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards, independent labels have seen their star rise on “Music’s Biggest Night,” and that looks set to continue at the 2020 ceremony, where Bon Iver, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Elvis Costello and others have gotten big nods. [...]

  • Joe Walsh Black Keys Forum

    Black Keys Enlist Fellow Ohioan Joe Walsh for Jam at L.A. Show

    “Cuyahoga River Way” doesn’t have quite the same ring as “Rocky Mountain Way,” but some of northeast Ohio’s most famous rock heroes met up (and celebrated another, lesser known one) in Los Angeles Tuesday night, when the Black Keys were joined on stage at the Forum by Joe Walsh. The Cleveland-Akron summit encompassed two songs [...]

  • US Capitol

    Congress Introduces AM-FM Act to Revise Copyright Law for Terrestrial Radio

    Senator Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Jerrold Nadler today introduced the Ask Musicians for Music Act (AM-FM), which aims to revise existing copyright law for radio stations and musicians. Under the current copyright system, radio stations can use sound recordings over their airwaves without paying royalties to creators who own a stake in the sound recordings. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content