Was Aaliyah Related to Gladys Knight? How are they Related?

Who was Aaliyah?

Aaliyah Dana Haughton, known to many as the “Princess of R&B” and “Queen of Urban Pop,” left an indelible mark on the music industry. Her angelic voice and captivating performances helped redefine contemporary R&B, pop, and hip hop.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Detroit, Aaliyah’s talent was recognized at a tender age when she graced the screens of Star Search and performed alongside Gladys Knight. Her music career took off at 12 when she signed with Jive Records and Blackground Records, run by her uncle Barry Hankerson, who introduced her to R. Kelly. He became her mentor, lead songwriter, and producer for her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, which went on to sell three million copies in the US and certified double platinum by RIAA.

However, her path to success was marred by allegations of an illegal marriage with Kelly, causing Aaliyah to part ways with Jive and sign with Atlantic Records. Tragically, her promising career came to an abrupt end on August 25, 2001, at the age of 22, in an airplane accident in the Bahamas. The overloaded aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all nine people on board, including Aaliyah. Her untimely death left a void in the music world, and her fans mourned the loss of a gifted artist who left us too soon.

Yes, Aaliyah was related to Gladys Knight. Barry Hankerson and Gladys Knight tied the knot in 1974. Hankerson is the owner of Blackground Records, the record label that Aaliyah signed with.

During their marriage, Gladys Knight and Barry Hankerson had one child, a son named Shanga Ali Hankerson, who was born on August 1, 1976.

Unfortunately, their marriage didn’t last, and they ended up getting divorced in 1979. Despite the end of their marriage, Gladys Knight and Barry Hankerson remained on good terms, and he continued to play a significant role in the music industry.

As for Aaliyah, she was the niece of Barry Hankerson, and through his marriage to Gladys Knight, she became her niece as well. Gladys Knight played a significant role in launching Aaliyah’s career and was one of her early musical influences. The tragic death of Aaliyah in 2001 was a great loss not only to her family but also to the music industry, and her legacy continues to inspire many.

Who is Gladys Knight?

Gladys Knight is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and author, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest soul vocalists of all time. Born on May 28, 1944, in Atlanta, Georgia, Gladys Knight began singing at an early age and formed a group with her siblings called The Pips. The group eventually became known as Gladys Knight and the Pips, and they went on to achieve massive success in the music industry.

With her powerful and soulful voice, Gladys Knight captured the hearts of audiences around the world, and her music crossed multiple genres, including R&B, pop, and gospel. Throughout her career, she has won multiple Grammy Awards, and her hit songs include “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Neither One of Us,” and “The Way We Were.” In addition to her successful music career, Gladys Knight has also acted in films and television shows, including the TV series “Jamie Foxx Show” and the movie “Hollywood Homicide.” She has also appeared on several reality TV shows, including “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Masked Singer.”

Gladys Knight has also written an autobiography titled “Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story,” in which she shares her life experiences and lessons learned throughout her career. She has been a significant influence on many musicians and continues to inspire audiences with her music and her life story. Gladys Knight is a true icon in the music industry, and her contributions to soul, R&B, and pop music have earned her a special place in the hearts of many music lovers around the world.


Gladys Knight Husband

Gladys Knight married four times in her life. Here is a list of Gladys Knight Ex-Husbands and you can also know her current husband.

James Newman

James Newman was the first husband of Gladys Knight, and they were married from 1960 to 1973. Their relationship began when Knight was just 16 years old, and she became pregnant. Despite losing the baby, they went on to have two children together. Newman was a musician who struggled with drug addiction, and he left the family just four years into the marriage. This forced Knight to retire from touring and focus on raising their children. Although they separated, Knight did not officially divorce Newman until several years later. Unfortunately, Newman passed away a few years after the divorce.

Tragically, Knight’s son from her marriage with Newman, who managed her career through his own company, Newman Management Inc., passed away from heart failure at the young age of 36 on July 10, 1999. This was a devastating loss for Knight and her family, and it left a profound impact on her life and career. Despite these hardships, Knight continues to be a beloved and iconic figure in the music industry, inspiring generations of fans with her soulful voice and powerful music.

Barry Hankerson

Following her divorce from James Newman, Gladys Knight married Barry Hankerson, her second husband. Hankerson was also involved in the music industry and later founded Blackground Records, where he managed popular artists such as Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, and R. Kelly. Knight and Hankerson had a son together named Shanga. However, their marriage ended in divorce after just five years in 1979. Hankerson had a son named Jomo Hankerson from a previous relationship.

Unfortunately, their divorce was far from amicable, and they went through a bitter custody battle over their son Shanga. Despite the challenges and struggles, Knight has continued to make a name for herself as an iconic and influential figure in the music industry.

Les Brown

Gladys Knight’s third husband was Les Brown, a well-known motivational speaker. The couple tied the knot in 1995 but unfortunately, their marriage ended in divorce after only two years. Despite this, Knight has maintained a positive outlook on life, believing that the challenges we face are opportunities to learn and grow. In an interview with SF Gate, Knight stated that obstacles are necessary in life and have helped her become a better person. She also emphasized that she bears no ill will towards anyone, despite the difficulties she has faced in her personal life.

William McDowell

William McDowell has been Gladys Knight’s husband since 2001, and they are still married today. After going through three divorces, Knight finally found lasting love with McDowell. In an interview with SF Gate, Knight shared her thoughts on love, saying that it is what makes the world go around and that there is nothing else like it. She also acknowledged that love is something that everyone strives to feel, in relationships, as well as in other areas of life such as brotherhood and sisterhood.

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