A powerhouse of R&B and soul in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Gladys Knight fronted the Pips, a vocal trio that included her brother, Merald, on a series of chart-topping singles and albums including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me. " From the launch of their career on the Southern club circuit in the late 1950s, Knight's soulful and dynamic vocals, underscored by the glittering harmonies of the Pips, established her as a formidable figure in popular music. After landing at Motown in the late 1960s, she scored several hits on the R&B charts, but found her true success at Buddah in the early 1970s with "Midnight Train to Georgia," the group's first No. 1 pop hit and signature song. After a brief separation over legal issues, Knight and the Pips reunited for a decade's worth of additional hits while she established herself as a solo act as well as a capable actress on television and in the occasional film. After scoring a No. 1 pop hit with "That's What Friends Are For" (1986), Knight and the Pips closed out their landmark careers in 1988, whereupon Knight kicked off her solo career in earnest, with numerous Top 5 hits and a 2001 Grammy award among its accolades. In the late 2000s, Knight appeared to retire from popular music to concentrate on gospel, but her glorious body of work with the Pips remained among the highwater marks of 1960s and 1970s music.